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.
Nick Houser has eight years’ experience writing, including time as a copywriter, online news reporter, sports columnist and now marketing and communications manager with the Sacramento Children’s Home. Overall, he’s passionate about telling good stories, and he loves finding creative, unique ways to tell stories that truly help people in need.
And this is his typical day:
Before 8:00 a.m. – As soon as I wake up, I (such a bad habit) check my phone to make sure nothing earth-shattering happened overnight, whether in the world or for work specifically. That includes a glance at social media and emails before getting myself and two kids ready for the day.
Then of course I hit coffee on the way in because, well, coffee.
8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m – Once in, I do a more thorough look-over of our social channels and emails. I respond to what’s necessary now, delete anything unnecessary and write down / update my to-do list in sections: immediate, this week, ongoing.
For social, I check the calendar to see what’s on tap today, see if it’s scheduled or needs something, check if it’s still relevant or something that came up takes priority (Basically check the status).
Then I check our Facebook groups,Facebook fundraisers people have started on our behalf to see if any new fundraisers have been started (and thank them in real time) or donations have been made to those (and thank them in real time).
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. – Around 10 a.m. I have a meeting of some sort, whether that be a 1-on-1 with our Volunteer Coordinator (Mon), a team meeting (Tues), a 1-on-1 with my supervisor (Wed), or a 1-on-1 with the Donor Relations Coordinator (Fri).
After meetings, I start on my to-do list: before lunch I usually tackle things like the next email going out to supporters or upcoming event planning.
12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. – Lunch is eaten at my desk half the time or I take a walk around our 16-acre campus to stretch my legs, then I’m usually right back at it.
In the afternoon I work on tasks like website maintenance. We just launched a new website, so that’s taken quite a lot of time to prepare for, launch, and make post-launch edits.
I also do any kind of video editing/creation in this space.
I’ll quickly glance at social media to ensure I’m not missing any engagement opportunities or public inquiries at some point too.
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. – I review my to-do’s to ensure “immediates” are taken care of or see if any new immediate item came up and needs completing. If everything immediate is complete, I’ll shift to “this week” items. This usually means assisting our auxiliary groups with their communication materials/event planning/etc., or assisting program managers with their requests (brochure designs, reaching out to businesses for passes to something, picture taking, etc.)
If I’m creating videos, it usually extends into this timeframe as well.
Sometime in the PM, I take a quick candy break or something similar.
After 4:00 p.m. – From 4-5, I spend time winding down by reading marketing blogs, marketing articles, the latest Facebook changes, strategy, tips, best practices, anything that helps keep me informed and/or polish my skills. I also give social media yet another glance and close out emails I need to handle from my desk before heading home.
If it’s a huge project or one with a looming deadline, obviously that takes priority and is usually the case that I’m working hard to wrap it up so I can leave without stressing over it.
At home, I do my best not to check too often (but I do), and I very quickly check Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, a few times each throughout the night. Open the app, look, respond if absolutely necessary, close the app.
I guess I “prepare for tomorrow” but shutting it all completely down at some point today helps me get rested to start with new energy tomorrow.
Thanks for sharing your day, Nick!
Want to be featured in this series? Tell us what you do in a typical day as a nonprofit communications pro.