A Week in My Life: Stefanie Hopkins, Founder & Managing Director, Faith PR
Stefanie Hopkins has more than 16 years of PR and marketing experience, and launched communications agency Faith PR back in 2007.
Born in Germany, Stefanie started out at McCann Erikson Leeds with Bentley Motors, before starting in a PR role at JDA before starting her own agency. Brighouse-based Faith PR has a broad client base and works across the B2B, SME and public sectors - as well as offering support to consumer brands.
Hopkins holds a range of roles alongside being MD of Faith, including as Board Director of the Mid Yorks Chamber of Commerce, and has won a range of awards and accolades including a Forward Ladies award, Yorkshire Women of Achievement award, and within Yorkshire Business Insider's 42 under 42.
We found out what a week in her life looks like...
My week starts at the same time every day, around 7am. There is a whirlwind of morning activity, getting my two children up and dressed, giving them breakfast and making sure they’re ready for school.
In the midst of all this, I check my phone for emails and reply to any urgent ones. I also have a quick look at my various social media newsfeeds too. Working in PR, it's essential to stay up to date with the rapidly-moving news agenda and be aware of the top news stories each day to identify any angles that work for our clients.
We are currently working a couple of days a week in the Faith PR office, which has been a welcome return to normality after the past year.
We kick the week off with a team work in progress (WIP) meeting where we discuss upcoming activity for clients. It's important for us to have these face-to-face meetings, as it’s a chance for the team to share ideas and support each other.
Today, we received the fantastic news that we have been shortlisted for two PR Moment Awards in the ‘Best Use of Research’ and ‘Low Budget Campaign of the Year’ categories, for two of our clients.
In addition to being the Managing Director of Faith PR, I am also a board director on the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce. Today, this involves an important meeting discussing membership communications and the upcoming events planned for the region.
At lunchtime, the team and I head down to Vulcan House, the Victorian property which will be the new home for Faith. The building has a fascinating history - it started life as a pub and has also been used as a recording studio and haberdashery. We’re now working hard to transform it into our new HQ and also Brighouse’s first co-working space, BrigHub.
It’s the first time some of the team have visited, and it’s exciting to show them in person all the hard work and renovation that is going into the building. I started Faith at my kitchen table in 2007 - so being able to invest in our future by buying this property, renovating it to house my team and provide a base for other freelancers, start-ups and growing firms, is something I'm incredibly proud of.
After wrapping up at the office for the day, I go and collect my daughter from tutoring and take her to gymnastics - she seems to have a busier social diary than me sometimes!
After my usual morning routine is over, Tuesday is spent working from my home office. The first few hours are dedicated to client work, including planning a strategy for a new client in the automotive sector.
I have a couple of meetings in the afternoon, one with a performance business coach then a demonstration of a new business tender platform. As MD, I’m always looking for ways to grow and improve the business, whether that is introducing new software or identifying new business opportunities.
In between meetings and new business proposals, I also support the team in proofing content and checking on how their client work is going and checking our communication strategies are on track.
After school, I take my daughter to dance and my son to football. Like so many working parents, I’ve had to master the art of juggling different diaries and activities. Once they’re home, I log back on and finish up some outstanding tasks for the day.
My evening ends with wrapping my husband’s birthday presents for the next day.
I kick off Wednesday off by meeting with the winner of Faith’s International Women’s Day giveaway. To celebrate IWD, we offered free PR support to a female-owned business, in the form of consultancy and work on her social media and outreach.
I then head into another meeting with the Mid Yorkshire Chamber. We've recently doubled the membership and are discussing the ways that we can retain and provide value to our members.
My afternoon is dominated by meetings. I have a client update with US-based World Kinect Energy Services to discuss upcoming activity, and a new business meeting. It is positive to see new business thriving, especially after the past year when so many firms were struggling.
I spend some time during the day purchasing items for Vulcan House. We're at the stage where we need to buy lights, bathroom tiles and flooring. The project is really starting to come together and buying items for the interior gives me a great sense of how the finished building will look.
After a busy day in the office, I manage to squeeze a run in while I wait to collect my daughter in Halifax. With time at a premium, I often have to multi-task and shoehorn the running in. But it’s a great way to have some time to myself and clear my mind.
Then we head out for dinner to celebrate my husband’s birthday. It’s lovely to be able to spend some quality time with them, and to be able to do it at a restaurant is fantastic - even if we are sitting outside and it’s 4°!
My Thursday is spent in the office with the whole team. It's the end of an era - the last day in our current office before the move to Vulcan House.
I have been in our office for over five years, so we have lots of packing up to complete. It always surprises me to find how much stuff is collected over the years.
The day begins with a Connect Yorkshire event on digital branding, and we also have a new team member joining us for the day as part of the Government’s Kickstart scheme, which is helping young people get back into work.
Matt, our Digital PR Account Manager, delivers some training to the team on gaining and building links for clients. The Faith team has a wide range of experience and it is always beneficial for everyone to share their knowledge and expertise.
Thursday finishes on a high, as we celebrate the last day in the office with pizza and fizz - hopefully there won’t be too many sore heads tomorrow!
Friday kicks off with a productive client meeting with our client Venture Forge. It is always positive to hear the great work our clients are doing and the exciting projects they have in the pipeline.
Today is a day of another new business meeting as well as finalising the copy for the BrigHub website. Running a busy PR agency and managing the renovation and launch of a new business involves lots of plate-spinning.
At Faith, we always finish the week off with a TFIF (Thank Faith it’s Friday) meeting, although we change the acronym depending on how the week has been! The meeting is a great chance for me to catch up with the team, talk about the peaks and pits of the week, and start winding down for the weekend.