Day in the Life of a Breakwater Associate

by Carly Bell, Patrick Conley, and Haley Prince

At Breakwater, we believe in “show don’t tell.” We show our clients we are great at what we do rather than just telling them. We remind each other through action that this is a great work environment rather than just saying it is. So rather than just telling you what we do as Associates, we want to show you. Carly, Patrick, and Haley, three recently hired Associates, will be taking you through a day in their life at Breakwater. This content might be informative, relatable, or downright mundane. But we can promise that even if reading our day-to-day is dull, the work we do at Breakwater is everything but. 

Carly Bell: 

As an Associate, I support the development and execution of strategic communications campaigns for an array of Breakwater clients. I am currently staffed on four accounts, which has given me the opportunity to work closely with many members of BWS staff and learn from the unique expertise that each person brings to the table.

8:30 am – Compose a daily newsletter summarizing and contextualizing major national and international headlines in the crypto policy space – this goes up to a C-suite exec to help them stay on top of the news of the day.

10:30 am – Catch up on podcasts on my commute into the office.

11:00 am – Characterize reporter sentiment and pull relevant talking points for a briefing book to help a client prepare for an upcoming media engagement.

12:00 pm – Send over an agenda for a weekly client check-in and monitor Slack for incoming client requests throughout the day.

12:30 pm – Head to the kitchen for lunch with the team – there’s usually anywhere from 1 to 12 of us in the office, but the number tends to skew higher on days when they’re serving Cava :).

1:00 pm – Collaborate on a weekly report analyzing the coverage of US-China relations in American media.

3:30 pm – Hop on a client call to discuss priorities for the week. These can include anything from live monitoring a committee hearing on the Hill to compiling press lists to drafting tweets, blog posts, and occasionally, op-eds. 

4:00 pm – Revise and finalize some research on blockchain use cases for a report on the Web3 movement and discuss next steps internally with the account team.

5:00 pm – Scan the news for any new crypto regulation stories and flag those that are relevant for the client.

Patrick Conley: 

As a member of Breakwater’s Research & Insights team, I engage with any client facing a challenge that requires primary or secondary research. On any given day, this can range from collaborating with my teammates on public opinion survey questions, finding quantitative data to support a communications strategy, or researching how sociopolitical developments could affect a client’s business.

9:00 am – Touch base with the rest of our Research team on priorities for the day over Slack.

9:15 am – Download, organize and summarize data on social media mentions for an international client interested in monitoring American consumers’ geopolitical perceptions.

10:30 am – Jump on a biweekly GPS call, Breakwater’s mentorship program, to talk about my current projects, workload and short- and long-term goals.

11:00 am – Research and write on several case studies for a project examining the potential and risks of Web3 technologies like cryptocurrencies, blockchain and DAOs.

1:30 pm – Grab a Chicken, Bacon & Ranch pizza from the &pizza near my apartment.

2:30 pm – Join a call with a client interested in conducting survey research to better understand how business and policy elites perceive their company.

3:30 pm – Finalize an internal memo on potential historical sensitivities for a client’s upcoming movie release in an important international market.

5:00 pm – Check in with my team to see which projects need support as we approach the end of the day.

5:30 pm – Tie up loose ends and lay out priorities for tomorrow.

6:00 pm – Log off and make a Trader Joe’s grocery run.

Haley Prince:

As an Associate at Breakwater, I help identify and execute client goals. I support the senior staff on research needs, media analysis, content drafting, and administrative tasks. However, my Breakwater voyage did not begin at associateship, I was originally an intern! As an intern, I was engaged with two fascinating accounts, and now as an Associate, I have been exposed to four completely different accounts. 

8:30 am – Realize I, in fact, did not charge my laptop overnight.

9:00ish am – Send the Breakwater CEO (who I assist with administrative duties) his schedule for the day – which is typically both really interesting and really busy.

9:30 am – Monitor media coverage and social media mentions of clients I am assigned to, flagging anything important for their awareness.

10:00 am – Make the critical decision to a) drink coffee and be anxious or b) skip the coffee and be tired.

11:00 am – Weekly all-team internal meeting. At Breakwater, we start with a fun and informative group call every week. On these calls, we go through current and new business, company updates, and a personal favorite “Question of the Week.” We go around sharing and subsequently debating each other’s answers. I love starting the week with this because even if I am wondering how it is Monday again already, I am reminded of the incredible company and work I am a part of. 

12:00 pm –  Work on creating and editing materials such as press releases, social media posts, internal communications or anything else that emerges. 

1:00 pm – Attend an internal meeting for one of the client teams I am a part of. On this call, we will share updates and talk through ongoing projects and priorities. 

2:00 pm – Pick up a research ask from the CEO or one of the client teams. A research ask can be anything from historical analysis to identifying media targets. 

4:00 pm – Client call where updates are shared and action items are assigned. Part of my job as an associate is to take notes on calls and then circulate them internally. This responsibility is a great way for associates to study and understand the clients early on. 

5:00 – Revisit any unfinished administrative tasks or unanswered emails to ensure I am on top of all internal and external business.