Nanny Sharon’s Diary

OK! Here I am, Nanny Sharon. Cheers!!!

It’s not because I work in the healthcare team of a global PR company, but that the first time my supervisor talked with me about our work, she said, “You will get to know that we are just like Big Nanny for our clients’ guests.” Yep! I can prove that. But I have been thinking how I can be more than just a nanny. The work is not easy, but it’s much rewarding. Here’s my story.

In spite of media relations work for Company C (a global leader in the beverage industry), I’m mainly responsible for arranging meetings for Company P (the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical company). For media relations work, I’m really glad that I can put what I’ve learnt in school into practical use. I tried to be creative in writing press releases, fact sheets and bios and luckily I got positive responses. However, the meeting arrangement work is a brand new area for me.

As a leader in pharmaceutical industry, Company P regularly organizes academic meetings, inviting doctors and professors around the globe to get together and discuss diseases with wide concerns or cutting-edge medicine and technologies. In this way, Company P can also promote its reputation and strengthen its leadership in global industry. Our team is taking the responsibility of a meeting organizer on behalf of our client – Company P. We are preparing for two meetings in July, one located in Taipei (17-18 July) and the other one in Singapore (8-9 July). What my supervisor meant by saying we were like nanny was that we had to deal with every little issue that our guests and clients might come across before/during/after the meeting.

I need:

1) to choose the right hotel based on the rates and services they provide; to arrange lunch, off-site dinner, coffee breaks (morning/afternoon);

2) to contact major hospitals and universities all round the glob, inviting doctors and professors to the client’s meetings;

3) to book flight tickets for each guest and staff from both Company P and our team;

4) to arrange on-site discussion and checking with the account manager;

5) to prepare pre-arrival/meeting info logistics for guests and clients, etc.

What makes the work even harder is that all the tasks are dealt with at the same time. I worked just like a multi-core processor. For instance, I have to contact various hotels and invite guests at the same time. Also, I have to start booking flight tickets and prepare pre-arrival info logistics for confirmed guests on the one hand, and replacing some guests with newly chosen candidates, due to tight schedule for some of them. What’s worse, I have to deal with hotel manager replacement during our discussion about the upcoming events. During the process, I learnt various ways to be careful and efficient, like to categorize my working emails, build up tasks processing forms, divide up a task into sections, etc.

Additionally, the work becomes a nanny job because I have to arrange the schedule, meeting, flight, and room according to every guest’ needs. Since they are from different countries, they differ a lot in issues ranging from room type to food. As the meeting organizer, we have to arrange everything well for them from they arrive the airport to the time they leave the airport.

Anyway, I believe that I have learnt a lot from this challenging nanny job. It reflected the unique features of the profession of PR especially in agencies – fast changing, multi-tasks and diversified targets. I’m now confident enough to deal with them.

About Yang Lu

Currently a grad student majoring in Public Relations at Annenberg School of University of Southern Califrornia. During 4-year undergraduate studies, Yang Lu did a double major in both English and International Journalism&Communication and a minor of Japanese in Beijing Foreign Studies University in China's Capital Beijing.
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