Day in the Life of a Nonprofit Communicator – Sherry S. Kirschenbaum

Sherry S. Kirschenbaum

Sherry S. Kirschenbaum

Here’s the latest installment in our series on the “Day in the Life” of nonprofit communicators, where we ask you to describe your day in your own words.

Sherry S. Kirschenbaum is senior writer/media relations manager at Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ. Previously, she was the media relations manager at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City, and associate director of the New Jersey regional office of the Anti-Defamation League.

Here is her typical day:

Before 8:00 am: 7:45 a.m.-Quickly check email before heading out the door. Nothing urgent, just a nice pick up from a hyperlocal media outlet about awards won by my department.

8:00 am – 10:00 am: The beginning of the day is spent checking and responding to email and browsing through a couple of select websites to help me decide on what to post on Facebook for the day. We usually post twice, once in the morning and once later in the afternoon. Sometimes the post is something directly related to my organization, like pictures from an event; other times it’s interesting or amusing anecdotes that we think our constituents will like. Then it’s on to writing two press releases.

10:00 am – 12:00 pm: Mid-morning finds me in a meeting with my boss in which we discuss the content for our next e-newsletter or a concept for an upcoming direct mail campaign.

Once back at my desk, I begin the process of curating case studies I have been sent from our planning and allocations department, adding them to my stories spreadsheet, so that I know what I have available to use in the multiple Federation communication venues.

I see my emails as they come in so if there’s something urgent, I stop what I am doing to attend to it. A couple of colleagues poke their heads in to ask me some quick questions – I answer them or refer them to the appropriate person.

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm: It’s lunchtime. I usually do take lunch by walking with a colleague in the gym or outside when it’s nice. If I’m very busy, I eat lunch at my desk.

Right after lunch I edit a couple of articles written by colleagues for their department’s e-newsletter, and then settle in for a webinar on enhanced use of Twitter for nonprofits.

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Mid-afternoon I have a meeting with a member of the department of which I am the account manager, and we go over the parameters for their upcoming event.

Then I geographically personalize a press release and send to the media. Then I’ll do the afternoon posting on Facebook.

Late in the afternoon, fortified by some tea and cookies (there’s always food around my office!), I spend some time on the phone, following up on requests I’ve put out for volunteers to be in a “thank you” video to our donors that our department is creating and that I am scripting.

Finally, I take some bullet-points given to me about an event that has just taken place and turn them into an article, and then turn a press release I’ve written into another article, for the news pages we are given in our community newspaper. 

After 4:00 pm: I’m fortunate that many days I can leave shortly after 5 p.m.; when I need to stay later I do. I prepare for tomorrow by writing a to-do list, making sure to include anything I didn’t get done today.

I usually check my emails once or maybe twice sometime during the evening to make sure there’s nothing urgent I should know about.

Want to be featured in this series? Tell us what you do in a typical day as a nonprofit communications pro.

Author: Kristina Leroux, Community Engagement Manager

I am the Community Engagement Manager at Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com.

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