A Week in My Life: Emma Leonard, Founder of Unify PR & Marketing

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Emma Leonard is the Founder of Unify PR & Marketing, a boutique PR & design agency specialising in interiors & construction, housewares, children’s health and education.

The agency's clients include global brand OXO, Fassa Bortolo, Verona, Viners, Barista & Co and the Grammar School at Leeds.

Here, she shares what a week in her working life is all about...

Monday

Monday mornings are always hectic, well, more like chaotic. There’s inevitably the school uniform that needs ironing or the one piece of homework that has been overlooked by one of my two children, but it soon calms down. Monday’s tend to be office based; an opportunity for the team to get together and review what’s on for the week ahead. It’s set to be a busy week as I’m out of the office for two days with a client, so time to roll the sleeves up and make sure any work is completed for clients. 

It is incredibly important that I am still hands on with accounts and supporting the team. Many clients and contacts I have known for years so you build up a real understanding for their tone of voice and how to best represent each brand. I also still love creating campaigns and drafting copy just as much as when I started out almost 20 years ago. After the school run, I head home where I get changed to start the night job. PR consultant by day and spin instructor by night! You can’t beat a good sweaty spin session. It’s a great way to release endorphins and clear your head. 45 minutes just to zone out, work hard and free your mind. 

Tuesday

Tuesday is all about results. As an agency we are very focused on the results we generate for clients, ensuring we’re maximizing our campaigns. Sarah, our senior account manager, reports on how campaigns are performing and any key areas to watch for and opportunities for growth.  

Then we turn our attention to a new collection of safety knives we’re launching to the media for iconic brand Viners. Created in response to new Government legislation on the sale of single knives, there are a number of different routes to pitch into press and key stakeholders to introduce to the collection. We have our media expert prepped and ready for any interview opportunities and a press visit to London planned to talk through the launch with high profile media contacts.

The afternoon sees Liv and I head over to Manchester to meet with a potential client and pitch in our specialist services within the KBB space. It’s a positive meeting and we’re immediately in love with the brand’s product range. 

Wednesday

We start the day asking ourselves: have we inspired a client this week? Have we given them that one golden nugget of excitement? It could be an influencer hit with the much-loved Mrs Hinch, a high profile product review on GoodFood.com or the delivery of a design job. 

But today, I’m out of the office at Leeds station on a chilly winter’s morning travelling to London with our longest standing client OXO for the Exclusively Housewares awards. It’s a fantastic night with suppliers and retailers coming together to celebrate all the achievements within housewares during the year. Our table is entertaining John Lewis tonight. There’s lots of networking during the evening, plenty of drinking and dancing (both of which are regretted the next morning.)

Thursday

Up and at it, heading to the tube to get back to Kings Cross. A quick visit to Pret to carb up and soak up the excess of last night, then on the train to head home. In the afternoon, I work from home and jump on a call with the Fassa Bortolo team. It’s that time of year when we present the strategic marketing plan for 2020. Next year sees the brand make its mark within the construction industry through creative trade advertising and exhibitions, but we need the buy in of Head Office in Italy. We plan a whistle stop trip to Venice for the end of November so that Liv and I can present the campaign directly to the senior team, before taking in the R&D facility. A company that is 310 years old next year, there’s more for us to learn about the brand’s heritage so we can amplify it through our plans. 

I’m teaching spin again in the evening, and have to be up early for a 7am session on Friday, so early night needed. 

Friday

I’m out of the office meeting with a mentor and friend of mine. Most weeks I aim to get some time with him to share thoughts and ideas, and learn from his experience. Running your own business has so many advantages but can it have its challenges, so it's essential that I get some time out to glean from his experience and get an external perspective. 

Friday late afternoon, I’m with the Unify team to play Operation Clearsafe, a horror-themed escape room. We’ve done a quite a few escape rooms but this is our biggest challenge yet as we’re not the bravest. We screamed, we panicked, we ran into walls out of blind fear but managed to escape just in time. Tonight we’re saying a brief farewell to our account manager Chloe whose going travelling for four months around Asia. We’re a small, close-knit team so we’ll miss her dearly, but we’re holding her job open for her return in the New Year. I go home much earlier than the rest; they’re young and full of energy. Plus, there are two children who’ll be up at the crack of dawn on Saturday and raring to go.