Welcome to our latest installment in our series on the “Day in the Life” of nonprofit communicators! This series lets you describe your workday in your own words.
We’d love to feature YOU in this series! Don’t be shy – tell us what you do in a typical day as a nonprofit communications pro.
Amanda Welliver is Marketing and Communications Coordinator for NeighborWorks Home Partners, a homeownership center that revitalizes neighborhoods by creating and supporting successful homeownership. She came to nonprofit communications via roles in politics, government, and lobbying, and now works to build community online and offline, spread the word about the homeownership, and share the success stories of new homeowners. She seeks balance between career, family, volunteering, and self-care, which these days usually takes the form of thrift shopping, singing in a choir or learning a new song on the ukulele.
And this is her typical day:
Before 8:00 a.m. – I always start the morning with a look over my calendar and inbox – it’s a good way to clear out the email clutter that accumulates overnight, get my mind focused on the tasks ahead of me, and steal a few extra minutes in bed before taking on the day.
I’ll spend the next 90 minutes or so getting my kids to school and myself to work.
8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m – Once I arrive at my office, I take one more look at my email on my phone in the car before heading inside.
I tend to start my day with regularly scheduled maintenance tasks. Today I am looking over our Google Analytics for the previous week and reviewing website 404 errors.
I’m also checking in with teammates on the status of a presentation that will be delivered to potential referral partners.
If I have a heavy writing load, I am likely to choose to work from home in the morning. This period can be some of my most productive creative time and I can best capitalize on it by avoiding the distractions that pop up in the office.
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. – Today I learned from program staff that there are quarterly reports due at the end of the week that require updates on outreach and marketing efforts. There are also grants due in a few weeks that will need similar information. I pull some preliminary data, and then we meet for about an hour to go over what is needed for their reporting.
During the meeting I spied my first spring robin through the conference room window. Now on my way back to my workspace I notice a sharp-shinned hawk outside on the garden wall, most likely drawn in by the robins. I try to snap a picture through the window (too grainy to use on Facebook!) and take a minute to step outside to try for a better photo. I’m not able to get the shot, but it’s a few breaths of fresh air and a nice break in my day.
12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. – My review of analytics in the morning showed that one of our Facebook ads was not converting well. I spend some time delving into the Facebook Insights, explore ways to tweak the audience, and ultimately choose to pause the campaign and create a new ad with different copy and new photos. (I note that for this particular campaign, men tend to respond better to photos with men in them, whereas women seem to have a preference for photos of houses with no people shown.)
Looking for ways to reach diverse audiences, I download a media kit for a specialty newspaper and marvel at the rates for print advertising. The salesperson follows up with a phone call soon after and I spend the next 30 minutes learning that an ad in this publication could easily consume 50% of my annual budget. I pitch a story idea, but the paper seems more interested in stories as complements to paid ads and not as standalone items.
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. – My position is part-time and I typically work a 6-hour day, so this time of day I try to wrap up a few tasks before it’s time to head out for the afternoon transport routine.
Today I’m updating some staff biographies and starting to fill in the outline of a blog post that will be the key content in our newsletter later in the week.
After I pick up my kids, we grab an after-school snack that doubles as my lunch for today.
After 4:00 p.m. – I’m trying to do a better job of keeping work from creeping into my evenings, but I check my email again and see some follow-up information from the morning meeting on reporting. I flag it for Tuesday’s tasks and put the phone down for a while.
Later while checking Facebook I see that there is a message from a customer in response to the new ad. Good news, but Facebook encourages a rapid response and I send a quick reply before setting aside my work for the day. (Or so I think – I take my son to a birthday party and meet another mom who works in marketing. We talk shop for a couple of hours and learn a lot from each other. Plans foiled – but in the best way!)
Thanks for sharing your day, Amanda!
Want to be featured in this series? Tell us what you do in a typical day as a nonprofit communications pro.