These last three weeks have been crazy, so yes, this post is going to cover three weeks instead of just the one or two that I normally post. A lot has happened, so let’s waste no more time…
Last week I got to manage the photographer’s diary, and that has fed into the last three weeks now as I continue to book in more people. To be honest, I know it’s better to call people and chat to them as much as you can to give your contacts that personal touch, but all the people I’ve been trying to get booked in are too busy to chat on the phone. So this week has been all about the emails. I’m slowly but surely finding the best way to manage this mammoth task, making sure that the photographer has enough time to travel from one venue to the next since he’s relying on public transport. So far so good.
I’ve also been dabbling in a few more news stories for the magazine. A new Krispy Kreme store just opened in Sheffield, so I wrote a little something in preparation for the grand opening, and I’ve also been posting out books for press purposes. But to be honest, the biggest thing I’ve had to deal with this week has been the upcoming festival in Sheffield that we’re writing the program for. Towards the end of the week, the MD gave me quite a list of things to do for this, so it’s been full-on in a way I really wasn’t expecting. I’ve had to compile all the listings for the different bands detailing when and where they’re performing, write up a profile for each venue that will be taking part in the festival’s fringe events, and write up some band bios. In the end, I have to admit, I was getting a little stressed that I was going to forget something, so I put on my organisation-cap, and made up a spreadsheet. This made it so much easier to keep track of what I needed to do, so that each day I could have it open and tick off things as I went along. I was pretty proud of this, and even emailed the MD and his business partner to let them know that I’d saved the spreadsheet in the folder with everything else so they could see how much progress we were making and how much there was still left to do.
Going into week 9, I was blissfully unaware of how much crazier things were about to get. The PR lady who I work alongside would be going on holiday for 3 weeks, meaning that I would have to try and keep things ticking over until she got back. But anyway, I’ll get into that soon enough…
This week was all about getting things done for the festival program. But I also had to juggle this with keeping on top of the photographer’s dairy. So I made myself a Word Document, listed every appointment I’d made so far, and recorded on which day I needed to send them a reminder. Again – SO. MUCH. EASIER. I must have countless lists, but it really does help because it makes me feel organised and keeps me from letting anything slip through the cracks accidentally.
I tried to make some phone calls to the venues that weren’t really answering my emails about the photography appointments, but it was difficult because most people are on holidays at this time of the year. It’s holiday season, after all. But anyway, between calling and emailing multiple times and feeling that I was generally bugging them all to death, I’ve managed to get pretty much everyone booked in. All my reminder emails have been sent out, and all my confirmations too. I only have 4 venues left to book in, and that’s because one’s having a refurb and wants to wait until it’s all finished, and 3 have only just been added. All in all, I’m feeling pretty good about this. To say it’s been my first time handling someone else’s diary, it’s been a very scary but rewarding experience, and I’ve impressed myself with how well I’ve handled it.
When I wasn’t trying to get in touch with people about the photography, I was plodding my way through my to-do list. More listings were slowly coming in, and there were magazine stories that needed writing. I was finding it difficult to juggle so much, but I think you start to get used to it when you’re doing it all week. Again, keeping annoyingly long lists really helped, and I actually managed to get all the listings done. Woo!
Week 10 has definitely been my most difficult week so far. On Monday morning, I was so eager to go in and do a good job of filling in for the PR lady – making myself stand out by proving to them that my shoulders were strong enough to take on so much responsibility –
Oh how things did not go as I’d planned.
I’ll tell you this: the PR lady deserves every penny she earns. One of her responsibilities is to process and take care of any book orders, so this is one of the things I had to take over. And let me tell you, I have never been so stressed out in my life. I was worried because I was actually dealing with customer orders – with wholesalers and retailers and handling cash. I didn’t want to do it wrong, so I took my time and it pretty much took me all morning. I told the MD that I hoped he didn’t mind me taking my time because I just wanted to do it right, and he was really supportive and said it wouldn’t always take this long, it’s just when you do it for the first time, it can be pretty daunting. Anyway, I muddled my way through, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I did it right. They’re incredibly trusting, but I’m happy to report that on Tuesday, when I came to process some more orders, it was so much easier. I found myself finishing it pretty quickly, so I felt better for that.
The rest of the week has been a mix of so much. I managed to get the artist bios finished, along with everything else for the festival program. I can’t tell you how glad I was when it was all finished. I knew they were working to a deadline, so I was trying to work as quickly as I could, but they also had a lot of staff off for various unforeseen circumstances which couldn’t be helped, so it was actually pretty lucky that I was there to lend an extra pair of hands. Despite the pressure, I’m glad I was able to help.
So this pretty much left me to start working through the task list the PR lady left for me. Chasing after venues to get more photography appointments booked in, posting out books to competition winners and press contacts, and covering social media. Plus a lot more that I still have my way to work through over the next two weeks before she returns. This week I also had to cover the mammoth task of compiling all the contacts from all of their previous publications into one master file. Again, I had to work to a deadline, and managed to get it done by Friday despite hitting a couple of speed-bumps.
Finally, I started to book in photography appointments for the next book they have in the works. I feel more comfortable going into this one after doing the previous one. I definitely feel like I have a better idea of how to go about it, I just have to leave more time for travel between appointments this time because all the venues are based in a place which is pretty busy. On Monday, I’ll be booking in photography appointments for a third book, so it’s going to be interesting juggling three different diaries at the same time, but as always, I look forward to the challenge!
Until next week.