Jacalyn Hartzell

Jacalyn Hartzell

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.

Jacalyn Hartzell is the Communications Manager for A Woman’s Place, the only domestic violence organization in Bucks County, PA, with a vision of a society where all individuals are safe in their relationships and can flourish, and a mission to be a community-based social change organization committed to the empowerment of women and to ending intimate and domestic violence for all. Jacalyn is a firm believer that communications and all that it encompasses is one of the most important parts of any nonprofit. She is a  lover of life, counter of blessings, and happiest with sand under her bare feet!

Here is her typical day:

Before 8:00 am: Usually up by 6. On the treadmill for a half hour most days (unless I hit the snooze button :), shower, dress, eat breakfast, make lunch. Boot up my laptop, check home then work email to see if anything is urgent. Check personal then work Facebook. Check engagement, comments/shares. Respond if required.

8:00 am – 10:00 am: At my desk by 9. I am the only communications person in our small nonprofit and work part time, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9 – 4:30. That equates to 21 hours, not a lot of time to communicate! I have a short list and a long list. Short list is the absolutes for each day, that may or may not get done depending on interruptions (phone calls, visitors, staff in need, etc.) and the long list which is the bigger vision stuff, that hopefully I get at least some work done on even if in small increments.

Between 9 – 10, I am answering emails.

10:00 am – 12:00 pm: Around 10, I “begin” my day. I review current tweets, thank new followers, re-tweet interesting stuff. Look for new organizations/people to follow. I review any new connections via LinkedIn. Check on any discussions I am involved with or watching.

We have a blog. Our executive director writes one for every Thursday, and a guest blogger writes for Sunday posting. I typically will upload and schedule the blogs on my Wednesdays.

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm: I eat my lunch at my desk as I begin to read any new emails, and ones that have content I want to read in depth. I try to read a few of the blogs I follow. Print out any new e-book or other relevant content for my files. I sign up for webinars on a regular basis (Kivi’s are the best!) and they are usually scheduled in this time frame. I try to touch base with the volunteer who helps me remotely with Facebook.

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm: I check back in on social media. I try to update website, if needed. Weekly check in on Tuesday at 2 pm with new web designer, in the process of creating a new website. Weekly check in with my director is scheduled for 3 pm but typically one of us is busy. This is crunch time for me, anything that didn’t get addressed earlier I try to work on, not always successful.

Tuesdays I play catch up. Wednesday is not only hump day but my most productive day, and Thursday is wrap up for the week.

After 4:00 pm: Typically leave office around 5. Usually boot up my laptop as soon as I get home. Always check email in the evening and on weekends. Because I am part time, there is never enough time to get it all done and pretty sure even full timers don’t. So as much as I technically only work 3 days. I still do email and look at our social media the other 4 days. The responsibility of a nonprofit communicator is huge and ever changing and in need of constant attention and probably why most of us love it! And I am glad to know I am in good company!

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

Published On: May 5, 2014

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