By Danielle Homewood
I really enjoy working in healthcare communications because of the fast-paced and varied projects. Being part of the client service team, a large part of my role involves building relationships with clients and being their day-to-day point of contact to drive a project forward. Every day in the client service team is different – I might be working on a new project, supporting on a pitch to drive new business, or seeing a project come to life at a face-to-face meeting or event. If you are thinking about working in medical communications, it can be difficult to know what is involved on a day-to-day basis…my Monday often looks like this…
The first part of the morning I spend checking my emails and prioritising any urgent tasks and briefings that I need to send out to the team. I try to share briefings the day before where I can, so I have more time in the morning for priority tasks. I also complete my ‘quick ticks’ (as I like to call them) – these are quick things that I can check off my to-do list which take less than 10 minutes to free up my day. We also have weekly Monday morning meetings with the whole team that I attend for 30 minutes.
My morning coffee is essential, especially on a Monday, and it’s good to get up and stretch your legs for 5 minutes.
In the first week of every month, I complete project invoicing for all my ongoing projects. I dedicate this time to liaising with finance, checking the invoicing schedule and updating the sales sheet for ongoing projects.
On average I have around three client status calls a week for ongoing projects that I try to spread across my week. Status calls usually last for around 30 minutes and are essential touch points with our clients. These calls help to continue project momentum, check on the status of deliverables, communicate timelines and discuss the development or review of assets. For each status call, I prepare my slides two days prior, so there is a clear agenda and focus for each meeting.
A chunk of my day usually involves checking in with the writing or creative team depending on which project or deliverable we are working on. I use this time for internal calls to discuss any queries with the team. These are usually updates or challenges that need to be discussed over a call rather than email. I also dedicate a portion of my day to reviewing assets, whether this is completing a QC (quality control) check for an infographic we have developed, reviewing a speaker slide deck, or refining scripts for an on-demand speaker video from the moving image team.
If it’s a nice day I try and take a walk down to the beach which is only 5 minutes away – this is not often possible with the UK weather, however!
I allocate time regularly throughout the week to check the resourcing schedule and to ensure the correct amount of time is booked in for ongoing projects within the writing, editorial and creative team. This can change weekly depending on timelines, scope and project requirements.
I have a regular check in call with my line manager where time is dedicated to discussing my projects, and any finance or internal updates. This is an opportunity to touch base and chat through any support I need.
After client status calls, I spend time writing up a status report to summarise anything that has been discussed and agreed during the meeting as well as summarise key actions and deadlines for both our internal and client teams. This is shared with the client to provide a regular status update and summary of next steps for the project.
I allocate a weekly slot for each project to update the reconciliation which includes tracking the scope and hours used vs project completed. This also goes hand-in-hand with resourcing updates.
I respond to any client emails that have not been answered during the day, this includes any follow-up, new business and ad hoc internal emails.
I always check in before the end of the day with the team for any updates on their daily briefs and if any work or actions need to be continued for the following day. I send out any briefings for the next day to the team.
I complete my timesheet each day with the hours I have spent on projects, training and any internal time.
I close my laptop for the day, with a ‘to do’ list ready for the next day, which is usually in the form of sticky notes!
This is only a snapshot of my role within the client service team and each day varies depending on the type and scale of project I am working on. I feel lucky to have been exposed to such a range of clients, projects and deliverables in such a short time in my early career, which allows me to continue learning something new most days.
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