Day in the Life of a Nonprofit Communicator – Jackie Marks
Welcome to the 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.
Jackie Marks is a non-profit communications professional specializing in environmental, natural resources, and sustainability issues. When she’s not promoting sustainable seafood during her day job, she can be found experimenting in the kitchen, supporting local breweries, tending to her little vegetable garden, and planning her next adventure. Find her on Twitter.com/jackiemarks or Instagram.com/
And this is her typical day:
Before 8:00 a.m. – My day usually starts around 6:30am with me forcing myself out of bed* (*not a morning person!), giving my cats a good cuddle, and hopping in the shower.
Everyone gets fed, and I’m out of the door around 8am, ready for my hour long commute (Walk/Bus – Metro – Walk) to the office.
8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m – On my metro ride in, I read the Express newspaper to get up to speed with the happenings in the world.
When I arrive at work, I get a big cup of tea and start digging into my email. One of the first ones I check is the daily roundup of news and google alerts about my organization – I make sure there are no crises or fires to put out, which could end up shaping my day.
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. – My organization is global, with HQ in London, and US HQ in Seattle – that means my day is largely designed by time zones.
In the morning I address time-sensitive needs from London, and Seattle gets online around 11am DC time which is usually when my first calls get started.
12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. – Because of the many time zones I operate on, lunch is usually at my desk and/or during a call.
I try to bring lunch from home (often sustainable seafood!), otherwise I’m grabbing a salad at SweetGreen or something quick & Easy at Trader Joe’s down the street.
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. – On Tuesday afternoons, I have a weekly check in with the full marcomms team, so four of us from DC and Seattle connect to talk through pressing items, upcoming activations, and other marcomms items.
We have an area on the agenda called ‘brain snacks’ where we store fun, inspiring items for discussion. Because our team is so spread out, we rely heavily on the Microsoft suite to collaborate, edit documents in real time, send and share files, and get work done.
In the afternoons I’m also often communicating with partners & colleagues, pulling together press releases, developing issue-specific messaging & talking points, or reviewing & approving documents or language.
Crossing things off of my to-do list makes me happy!
After 4:00 p.m. – When the day begins to wrap up, I review my to-do list and make sure I complete any emails or deliverables that are time-sensitive.
I am very calendar centric – I have at least three calendars nearby at all times: my work Outlook calendar, my personal Google Calendar, and a physical wall calendar. Having three touch points helps me think ahead not just to the next day, but the next week, month and beyond, either personally or professionally.
I leave the office around 5:30pm and spend the evening either supporting the Board I serve on, at the gym, at yoga, or – preferably – winding down with my husband and a glass of wine or craft beer.
My day ends the same way it starts – cuddles with my cats before bedtime!
Thanks for sharing your day, Jackie!
Want to be featured in this series? Tell us what you do in a typical day as a nonprofit communications pro.