A day in the life: Corporate relations and marketing

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It's hard to know what a job is really like until you actually do it. And with an increasing number of job titles and roles emerging in the sector, it's sometimes unclear what people do each day in their particular role. What skills do they use most often and how do they spend the bulk of their time? What are the biggest challenges in their work? And what would they do differently to prepare for such a position, knowing what they know now? CharityVillage®'s A Day in the Life series gives you a glimpse into the professional lives of people working in a range of jobs in the nonprofit sector.

This month we'd like to introduce you to.....

Name: Julia Silvestri

Organization: Yonge Street Mission

Size: About 130 employees

Job title: Corporate Relations and Marketing Coordinator

Education: Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology, Marketing Administration Diploma

Previous jobs and related activity: Production Assistant (Yonge Street Mission), Administrative Assistant (ScotiaMcLeod),Production Assistant (Unionville Alliance Church), Marketing Assistant (Wasip Ltd.).

Key responsibilities:

  • Manage and create social media content (Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, YouTube and LinkedIn)
  • Maintain the website by working with the development team to generate interesting content and update it regularly
  • Build and maintain relationships with corporate partners and vendors
  • Take photos at events and maintain the photo database
  • Manage the creation and implementation of print media campaigns
  • Coordinate the design and creation of promotional print material and branded items
  • Create and execute email campaigns and online payment gateways


9:00 a.m. Check and reply to emails and voice messages.
9:30 a.m. Read up on the latest news about poverty and homelessness. Check in on fundraising and nonprofit blogs and newsletters.
10:00 a.m. Social media time! Check in on all platforms and respond to comments, questions, and issues. Read through Google Alerts to find relevant articles to repost. Schedule tweets and Facebook posts to go out through the day.
11:00 a.m. Bi-weekly check-in meeting with Jon, Director of Development.
12:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. Visit other YSM branches to take photos of events or special programs.
2:00 p.m. Check in with Kathleen, Manager of Communications, to talk about generating new content for the website.
2:30 p.m. Meet with Rebecca, Manager of Special Events, to talk about promotion for upcoming events.
3:00 p.m. Prepare a work order to request an updated email list for the upcoming eblast. Create the email and corresponding online payment gateway. Send a test email to the development team to make sure it is accurate and that all of the links work.
3:30 p.m. Check in on Facebook and Twitter to monitor conversations and reply to any questions/concerns.
4:00 p.m. Make updates and additions to the website.
4:30 p.m. Check email and review to-do list for the next day.

I spend most of my time... Collaborating with the team in the development department and the Mission staff as a whole, to successfully communicate our message with current and potential donors and volunteers.

Three common challenges:

  • Keeping the website current. It seems like one day everything is current and the next day people are calling and emailing to say that all of the content is out of date!
  • Finding relevant and interesting articles to share with our social media community on a daily basis.
  • Staying ahead of the curve in our marketing/social media so that we can stand apart from the crowd of other nonprofits doing great work in Toronto.

Most rewarding moments: I recently discovered that our online giving has increased exponentially in the past 12 months since I’ve been responsible for our website, social media and email campaigns.

Recommended education to get this job: A marketing diploma or degree is a great start. One challenge with social media being so new is that there aren’t a lot of formal programs in schools yet, I found the best way to learn is from other people. I have met so many amazing people by attending events during Social Media Week events (Feb. 13-17, 2012), Young Non-Profit Professionals events, AFP seminars and many other seminars and webinars. The nonprofit sector is a great community of people that are so willing to help each other succeed!

Knowing what I know now: If you are looking to work in the Marketing/Social Media/Corporate Relations area(s) of the nonprofit world, I would say learn as much as you can in the most unconventional ways! Go to seminars, mixers and parties. Meet people who are doing what you want to do and learn everything from them that you can. Getting out there to meet people and learn from them will only help you be amazing at your job!

Help others with their career research and choices by sharing information about what you do. If you would like to be featured in A Day in the Life, please contact us at editor@charityvillage.com.


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