At which time do you wake up in the morning?
Normally, it will be around 6.30 Sometimes I rise early (5.30) to exercise before the rest of the family is awake.
Which news sites do you read (if any) in the morning?
I actually read the news in the evening before going to bed. Major newspapers, Twitter and Linkedin.
At which time do you go into the office (or start working remotely)?
About 8.45. I ride the bike to work after dropping my kids off at school, which is very close to our home. The bikeride takes 25 min. Sitting in an office, eating lunches, javist coffee-meetings, going to conferences and taking part of a plethora of meetings is basicly not very healthy, so riding my bike is a wonderful way to compensate. Furthermore, by riding the bike I don’t get stuck in trafic and know when I’ll arrive.
How many times a day do you check emails?
Frequently, but I don’t count it;, but more important: I try to put in slots in my calendar to answer mails, that take more than a few minutes to read and answer.
When is your first meeting?
Normally at 8.30 or 9.
How do you plan your meetings across the week?
I used to have back to back meetings all the time. That was basically unsustainable, since it didn’t leave time for thinking and planning ahead except in the evening – leaving no spare time with family or hobbies. These days I prefer to have time between meetings and time to plan ahead. I take time to reach out and plan numerous external meetings every week.
Finally, we have something called green Fridays where no fixed meetings are supposed to be scheduled. That leaves room for thinking ahead, ad hoc meetings and for working from home.
What is the split between internal and external meetings?
It depends. Things need to be developed, planned and coordinated resulting in a larger number of internal meetings prior to a campaign and to outreach. But generally I have three to four internal meetings for every two external. I find that is a good ratio.
How do you follow news development between meetings?
I receive quite a lot of relevant and sometimes nerdy newsletters on climate and on energy. I don’t have notifications on mail or on my phone, but I look at Twitter and LinkedIn – and some online newssites
How do you organize your calendar?
Look at my calendar and plan ahead. And we keep a calendar of important external as well as internal events in order to plan and time activities
How do you take notes?
I use a physical notebook as well as Onenote. I have organized Onenote in themes and stakeholders whereas my notebook is more for new ideas, reflections, important data and to-dos.
What is your relationship to Excel?
I am quite analytical and datadriven and that’s where Excel comes in handy for qualifying decisions, as well as having an overview of issues, and dialogues with relevant stakeholders.
What is your favorite app & why?
Onenote and then I use Sharepoint a lot. It is great for sharing content, co-work and to reduce the number of copies of documents.
How many external lunches do you have a week?
Typically two. On top of that add external coffee meetings. I suppose that is a faster and less Informal way to meet, that works well in Denmark.
Where do you keep up to date on Public Affairs?
I network quite a lot with other Public Affairs practitioners and I read most of the literature in the field. Public Affairs has been a bit immature in Denmark, but is coming of age and developing into a mature industry. I really like that Public Affairs is moving from the “old sport access business” to a profession where you can excel by understanding 1) societal trends 2) business objectives, 3) politicians, 4) and a profound understanding of political dynamics.
What is your best tip for managing work/life balance?
I am not the rolemodel. Have a hobby. But the single most important thing for me was to get children.
What do you do to unwind?
I do different kinds of physical exercises that takes my mind away from work. I used to do long distance running and play squash at a decent level, but a knee injury changed that, and these days I swim and bike. I guess I have become part of the MAMIL tribe. Jumping on the bike is a wonderful way to experience nature – preferably with friends. I also love to go to the theatre.
What is your favorite collaboration tool?
Pretty basic – Sharepoint.
How does your desk look?
Quite tidy, but I have many yellow post-its and a notebook. It is my extended memory.
Do you answer emails on your phone?
Oh yes, but mainly when waiting somewhere or in the evening. But I have had jobs that required me to be online constantly to strike the political timing right and I am still somewhat infected by that adrenaline driving check-your-mail virus. I changed job recently and try to implement healthier work life habits.
Name a PA pro in the industry you respect and why
There are many! An inspiring person is Lord Alisdair Turner who is heading the Energy Transmission Commission. His knowledge, advocacy and ability to create high-level alliances is amazing.
Jennifer Layke. Energy Director WRI. I had the pleasure in a former position to collaborate on a working paper with Jennifer of the WRI. She has a outstanding knowledge of the energy system, an X-ray view on the needed means of the energy transition as well as the political pittfalls, and she is a pleasure to work with. I have the highest respect of the way she pushes the energy transition forward with a combination of impatience and pragmatism.
When you go on vacation, do you still answer emails?
I try not to, but sometimes we have issues or initiatives where my say is needed for things to move forward.
Which book did you read recently or are you currently reading?
I typically read a fiction and a non-fiction book at the same time. Lately I have read a lot of manga especially ones by Taniguchi. Currently I read “My abruzzo” by Per Pettersson. He is one of my favorite writers. Alas, this is not his best book. I am also reading “Noise” by Kahneman, Sibony and Sunstein.
Do you read anything before you go to bed?
Yes, I skim a few newspapers (online) and read a bit in a book.
Which time do you go to bed?
Varies a lot
Do you use Twitter and LinkedIn for work?
Yes, every day.
How big is your PA department?
We are a basically two students and me, but we are interlinked with Regulatory affairs, commercial and Communication.
Where is the PA departments placed in your organization?
We are placed together with Commercial and Regulatory affairs. Business Development and Communication is seated right next to us. You need to collaborate closely for your influence strategy to work well to support the business.
The idea of the blog is to invite a new Public Affairs pro each week to answer a battery of questions about their daily tasks, habits, routines etc. and thereby provide readers with a more realistic view of what Public Affairs is really about: honest and hard work! So with this blog we want to learn from all the good or bad habits from our peers in the industry. Small things, as well as bigger things.
The guest bloggers are chosen because they are the best in the industry and they each day contribute to make our discipline better.
If you are interested in contributing to this section, feel free to reach out.
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