How does the founder and CEO of a marketing agency meet the demands of a busy schedule?
Resound Marketing’s Ilana Zalika shares her tips for running a tight ship and keeping both employees and clients happy in our latest entry in our Day in the Life series.
One new tool she recommends: Redbooth. That’s the task management system that keeps her organized and connected to her team.
Here’s how she gets through the day:
- What time do you wake up?
I’m a night owl, not a morning person. I wait till the last possible moment to jump out of bed before I have to get the kids off to school and get ready for my day. During the week, that’s typically between 6:30 and 7 a.m. On the weekend, all bets are off.
- How many cups of coffee do you drink a day?
Believe it or not, I don’t drink caffeine (except for the occasional Diet Coke). Yes, I am naturally this peppy. I do like the taste of coffee, though, so I’ll usually have a cup of decaf each morning.
- Who is the most important person at work you talk to during your day?
My team. Even as our agency grows, it’s important for me to try and connect with as many members of the team as possible each day. Whether it’s sitting in on a team meeting or client call, participating in the office “Bachelor” pool, or just commenting on the news of the day (we have a television always on in the office so we can keep up with the latest), it’s important to me to keep a pulse on team communications, workload, challenges, and achievements—as well as overall culture and daily morale.
- What’s one tool that you couldn’t live without?
The short answer is Redbooth, an automated task management system that I use to keep track of tasks, projects and deadlines. But there’s a slightly longer story about how I came to rely on it, because at heart I am a big fan of making to-do lists with pen and paper. I covet pretty notebooks (don’t ask how much I spent on my latest haul from HomeSense) and love to collect pens (no hotel room nightstand is safe). Still, I’ve realized it’s much more efficient and productive to manage my day in a centralized, automated, trackable workspace. So now I live in Redbooth—but I still use my pretty pens and notebooks to make smaller punch lists of “must-dos” for each day.
- What’s the last thing you do before finishing your workday?
I reserve some time to catch up on any emails I may have missed in the frenzy of the day. While it’s hard for me to achieve Inbox Zero, I do aim to review every email I get each day, and either respond or make a note of when I need to respond to it. I then update tasks in Redbooth and create my written punch list for the day ahead.
- What keeps you up at night?
Every now and then I’ll pop up in the middle of the night with an idea for a media pitch, a great opening line for a presentation, or the perfect copy for our new website. In those cases, grabbing my phone and jotting it down in my Notes app will get it off my mind and let me go back to sleep in peace. For the most part, though, I try to shut my work brain off at night. Instead, you’ll usually find me up late worrying about my kids. (Are their lunches packed? When are soccer tryouts? Did I just hear someone cough?) More likely, I’ve lost track of time because I’m binge-watching my favorite shows, trying to solve the Sunday crossword, or reading a book I can’t put down (just finished the latest Stephen King).
- What trend or change is the next big thing in communications and/or your industry?
PR has changed so much in recent years, and it’s common knowledge that the future of our industry involves digital. But digital can mean a lot of things, so it’s going to be important for agencies to get more nuanced about if, how, when and why they’ll be employing digital strategies for their clients. Whether you provide a digital offering or not, every communications professional needs to be educated about what digital means for brands, and how it works alongside or in conjunction with traditional PR strategies.