Job Title: Public Affairs and Communications ManagerName: James Lowman
Company: Association of Convenience Stores (ACS)
Degree studied at:
University of EssexBrief job description
I have responsibility for ACS’ political work, and for all communications: newsletter, website, Yearbook, printed materials. I am also in charge of our Retail Crime Forums and I am involved in our News Group and our work on Personnel and Training.
My career so far…
What does your job involve in a typical day?
To support our written communications, we regularly hold meetings with civil servants and others in the political process. There are also many semi-political issues we deal with like News and the Post Office which require meetings with other interested companies and other trade associations, and it is part of my job to maintain a contact with the relevant organisations.
My responsibilities on the Retail Crime Forum and other events can be time consuming, as I research and book speakers and the venues, secure sponsorship, and manage the day itself.
With all of the above work, I operate within a Committee structure, so communication out to our members is critical. I am regularly in touch by email or phone with the Chairs of Committees.
My communications responsibilities include the promotion and management of our web site with an external agency. I aim to update the site at least twice a week, although I do not want it to be a ‘live or ‘news’ site. I am responsible for our monthly newsletter, where I work with out PR advisor to develop content. I carry out some of the writing duties for the newsletter. I also take responsibility for our Yearbook, which is produced by trade publishers, but in which we have to monitor content and advise on new editorial ideas. We regularly have events and initiatives which require printed promotion, and I commission and approve print work for brochures, booking forms and recruitment materials.
Finally, most days I talk to a member of the trade press about a current issue, and we try to maintain good relations with all the trade media in our sector.
So a typical day incorporates juggling these responsibilities. I am normally in the office for three full days a week, and out at meetings for an average two days a week. My time in the office is very much spent at the computer managing these issues by e-mail or the phone. Workload varies, and while there is never any excuse to be doing nothing (the opportunities of the job are endless), I can vary from working relatively short days (pretty much 9-5) to working much longer hours.
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