A Week in My Life: Ashleigh Donald, Co-founder, Halo Business Consulting

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Co-founder and Communications Consultant at Halo, Ashleigh is a busy PR professional with years of experience in global luxury hospitality.

With her co-founder Michael, Donald provides businesses with flexible and hands-on support. The duo helps brands to redefine, communicate and sustain success - and has worked with clients like Almarose Hotels & Resorts and Resident Hotels.

Ashleigh is Entrepreneur in Residence and member of the Alumni Leadership Circle at Sheffield Hallam University Business School, and has held roles at a range of national PR agencies.

We found out what a typical week at Halo looks like.

 

Monday

Today starts with a bang. Up before 6am, I head to the beach for a bootcamp session. We started a bootcamp group with the school parents during the holidays to counteract the lockdown indulgence and we’ve decided to continue… maybe so we can continue to indulge too! 

I’m always reminded of how lucky I am to live by the sea during these morning sessions. It sets me up for an energetic and positive approach to the day ahead.

Back home, shower, breakfast with the kids and wrestle everyone out of the door before 8:30am for school. Now that we’re into September, there is a real back to school vibe and we’ve really seen a pick-up in client activity, so following drop offs I head to the only tidy room in the house, our loft office, Halo HQ.

Mondays are always a busy day of client Zoom calls and progress meetings. We have a dynamic client mix at the moment from hotel openings in Thailand to supporting the launch of start ups. I love the variety my role as a consultant brings.

Tuesday

Today I’m working on the rebrand of an iconic hotel. It’s all under-wraps until later this year but I’m working closely with a branding and PR agency on strategy and tactics for the launch and speaking to various suppliers to ensure we have all of the required assets ready.

I really enjoy the buzz of re-brands and hotel launches. I then jump onto a monthly roundtable Zoom with leaders of other PR agencies as part of my membership to a hugely supportive group known as PRogress. We discuss the marketplace, challenges and opportunities as well as confirming a motivational speaker to attend our next event. I always take so much from these sessions.

My husband and co-founder of Halo, Michael, has some new business opportunity calls scheduled to integrate his customer service culture experience into a technology platform so we tag team and I take over parenting duties for the remainder of the afternoon.

Wednesday

Another early start, this time armed with my paddleboard for a jaunt around Cullercoats Bay. Today I am speaking to Sheffield Business School as part of my role as Entrepreneur in Residence at Sheffield Hallam University. We look at the semester ahead and plan some virtual guest lectures and student mentoring.

I am also onboarding a new client this week and devising a PR strategy. Halo will also be on hand to provide counsel on their website build and other marketing activity. I really enjoy the strategy development when working with a new client.

Thursday

Today I have some calls with some former colleagues who’ve been recently made redundant to see how we might be able to collaborate and support them with future projects.

We share insights and ensure we will stay in touch with any opportunities. I then have a zoom kick off call with a CRM provider for one of my clients.

This marks the start of a six-week implementation plan for my client to develop a communication platform to effectively communicate with their guests, analyse guest sentiment and reply directly to guest reviews on all sites.

Friday

Friday is here already! I ensure all my clients are given their weekly progress reports and key activity is actioned. Michael then takes the reins to make some updates to our website and sees to our accounts. We wrap up just in time for school pickup and head to our favourite local ice cream parlour with excited children to start the weekend in style!