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A Week in My Life: Sara Donnelly, Director, Social Tech Communications

Sara Social Tech

Social Tech Communications launched in 2021 and is headquarted in Manchester.

It is a specialist tech PR division of the Social group, which was founded in 2013 by John Quinton-Barber.

Leading the tech division with more than 16 years’ experience in the industry, Sara Donnelly has worked with tech clients such as Manchester Tech Festival, IDnow and Everything Tech.

At Prolific North’s recent Tech Awards, Social Tech Communcations won Tech PR Campaign of the Year for ‘Putting the IT in InTelligent PR’.

Here, Sara shares how a recent week in her life went.

 

Monday

After months of supporting the inaugural Manchester Tech Festival, the week had arrived for events to kick off. So Monday began with me heading to the fabulous People’s History Museum for the leadership conference. There was a vast array of speakers delivering really interesting talks on a whole raft of leadership concepts, from the secrets to creating high performance teams and the city’s digital strategy to panel debates on hybrid working.

I had the very great (and nerve wracking) honour of closing the day with a presentation on authentic leadership – I focused on the qualities that make for a good authentic leader, with insights gleaned from a poll I ran on LinkedIn to explore who people deem to be good authentic leaders (for info, Jacinda Ardern came out top!). Hopefully those who stayed to the end got some useful tips from me, although I appreciated very much that I was the barrier between them and the bar where canopes and drinks were waiting for us all!

Tuesday

Tuesday was a more typical day for me, starting with internal meetings to discuss and finalise our (exciting) plans for next year. I then moved on to progressing a really interesting research campaign for a new client – at this exploration stage, we’re developing some themes and topics around which the research will sit, before working up the questions that will enable us to uncover new insights and write a detailed report to reveal the key findings.

Switching to another client, my day ended with some media engagement to secure a slot for a key spokesperson at an upcoming roundtable event.

Wednesday

For the last seven years, I’ve had Wednesdays ‘off’ – well, my midweek jaunt has been spent with my sons, the youngest now being three, so although I’m off work, I’m busy enjoying my role as mummy. I’m most likely to be found at a play area, park or forest making the most of fresh air and spending quality time with my boys.

Thursday

Thursday sees me at Victoria Baths for the penultimate day of the Manchester Tech Festival. Having learned to swim at Victoria Baths 35 years ago, it was incredible to be back there and to see it in its current form as a fantastic community venue. Today’s focus was on tech startups and scaleups, and there was a myriad of speakers and discussions to choose from including tips for securing investment, the concept of ‘elastic culture’, and the drivers of growth.

Just after lunch, I took to the stage again, this time to talk about creating standout for your business and how PR can help. This is really the bread and butter of what we do and what has been the focus of my daily working life for the past 17 years.

Friday

After an incredibly busy week, my Friday consisted of recording a podcast which focused on the Northern tech ecosystem, and what we as an industry and sector must do to minimise the impact of digital exclusion. I also worked closely with my colleague, James, to identify and roll out a media engagement strategy for our identity proofing client’s recent piece of research into the UK’s attitudes to banking.

A mid afternoon client call saw us plan for the month ahead, with activity including press announcements, opinion pieces and longer-term strategy priorities. As the last day before half term holidays, I ended what had been an incredibly busy and interesting week with a detailed handover to ensure all client work was planned in and activity continued to move forward by the team. What a week!

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