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. Sara Norton-Sanner is the Community Relations Coordinator for Rebuilding Together OKC in Oklahoma. She describes herself as the wife to her lifelong best friend Chris, mother to her pug Suruchi, a world traveler and wanna-be photographer, using her talents in writing and communications to bring glory to God and make a difference in her community.
Here is her typical day:
Before 8:00 am: I wake up in the mornings and mentally prepare myself for the day by reading Scripture. Get ready for work, watch the news while drinking coffee, take my dog out for a short walk. If I’m lucky, I will glance at my planner to see what’s going on that day. At the last minute, I frantically grab all I need for work (each day forgetting at least one item). Then, set out for the short commute across the city.
8:00 am – 10:00 am: I listen to the day’s “5 Things You Need to Know” on my favorite radio station on the drive to work. Sing along to a few songs and check Instagram while stopped at red lights. I arrive at work at 9 a.m. The first thing I do is check email, Facebook messages and posts, and Twitter retweets and replies, and respond as needed. I meet with any staff to ask questions or get clarification on assignments. By 10, my goal is to have an established to-do list for the day. Sometimes this happens, sometimes it doesn’t.
10:00 am – 12:00 pm: About once a week, I will attend a morning conference, networking event or community meeting to market our brand, meet with community leaders, or learn a new skill. I try to be out in the community as much as possible. If I’m in the office, I will answer phone calls, start conversations on social media and update our website/blog.
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm: I get an hour off for lunch. Some days I go home and enjoy time with my husband and pug. Other days, I’m attending lunch seminars or committee meetings for volunteer coordinators and public relations professionals. Building relationships, building relationships, building relationships. It’s important for donations, volunteers and homeowners – every aspect of what our nonprofit does.
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm: As I get back to work, I’ll grab a drink, probably Diet Coke (I’m an addict), on special occasions it’s a Starbucks drink (got to save the $$ as a nonprofit professional). I like to visit our homeowners/clients in the afternoons. I schedule my interviews with clients, or visit the project sites to meet volunteers. After lunch always seems to be the best time. If I’m in the office, I read through nonprofit blogs and/or attend webinars for nonprofit leaders.
After 4:00 pm: When I get back to the office at the end of the day, I upload photos/stories to the website and social media. Do a last check of emails, Facebook and Twitter. This is a great time to work on special marketing or events coming up. We also host all of our committee and special events meetings at the end of the day. I usually attend one of those bi-monthly. Our offices close at 5 pm. After work, and any after hour work events, I go home and turn off my phone. I find it extremely helpful to pull myself away from the job after work to recharge my batteries and focus on “me” time, or service in the community that is outside of the nonprofit I work for. Anything that needs to get done for work can wait until the next day. If I don’t take this time for myself, I’m no good the next work day.
Want to be featured in this series? Tell us what you do in a typical day as a nonprofit communications pro.