How Wray Ward’s Heather Tamol manages her PR career

This PR and content director is watching the changing tools and techniques that affect how PR pros do their job. Here’s what she has to say about being successful in the long term.

One way to start your day off on the right foot: a coffee treat.

Wray Ward’s Heather Tamol says she loves to start her day with an iced caramel macchiato in warm weather, or steaming chai in colder temperatures.

However, the tool she most relies on to get through her day is her iPhone.

We caught up with her as part of our Day in the Life series, and she shared her hopes and concerns for the future of the PR industry:

  1. What time do you wake up? 

I’m normally up by 5:15 thanks to my iPhone alarm or the hungry cat at my bedroom door.

  1. How many cups of coffee do you drink a day?

I live for my morning Starbucks iced caramel macchiato or, once the temperatures dip, a hot chai tea.

  1. Who is the most important person at work you talk to during your day?

The people who have a finger on the pulse of our PR/content clients—my team, first and foremost. Our connections director is also critical: While we can’t catch up every day, his perspective of how everything ties together—from paid media to search and how they impact PR/content—is invaluable.

  1. What’s one tool that you couldn’t live without?

My iPhone. I’m sure I’m not alone, but my phone is a vital connector to the world and what’s happening in it. With my news and Twitter apps, Google Alerts in my email and Sprout Social, I’m able to keep a good handle on everything and react quickly when necessary. I’m embarrassed to say I first resisted a smartphone, worrying it would bring work into my time with my kids, but found it gave me added efficiency. Part of the beauty of the iPhone is that it allows you to catch up anywhere, anytime you have downtime, whether you’re waiting for a flight or sitting in the doctor’s office.

  1. What’s the last thing you do before finishing your workday?

Pack up my laptop and charger—because, while I can do a lot on my phone (like I said, it’s the one tool I can’t live without), I don’t quite feel equipped to handle unexpected crises or pop-up deadlines without my laptop. Whether I need to map out a Q&A, write a statement or make changes to a slide deck, computer access allows me to do those things well.

  1. What keeps you up at night?

The fear that tracked changes may not have been turned off—making them visible—before we shared a document internally or especially with the media. That’s why, in this industry, it’s always best to use PDFs and content embedded into emails.

  1. What trend or change is the next big thing in communications and/or your industry?

 The evolution of tech tools and their features and functions will continue to make us more efficient and effective. These tools will continue to grow across disciplines and tactics, from social listening as a tool to identify trends and topics that can be impactful in PR, content and social media, to clipping services that provide sentiment insight that can inform strategy and messaging.

         8. Anything else you want to share?

The communications industry is continually evolving. It should go without saying, but PR, content and social pros have to stay on top of changes, challenges and opportunities. In our world, complacency is deadly. We have to always stay sharp. Interested. Adaptable. Students of the craft.

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