Support team – a day in the life

The working environment might have changed since many of us started working from home in March, but after the initial upheaval, many of our day-to-day duties haven’t. For us in the Support team our days are the same in that every day can be different. Our role is to support university colleagues with all things marketing and communications. But you might not know exactly what we can help with.

Here, I’ll take you through an average day of an average Content Assistant currently working from home.

9am

We receive on average 500-600 emails a month to marketing-support@york.ac.uk. Firstly we triage those we can’t solve ourselves, so your query always goes to the most helpful person. I tend to start the day getting stuck into these because they’re so varied and knowing how long certain tasks might take helps plan out my day. 

On an average day we could be:

  • Making changes to existing web pages and creating new pages
  • Adding events and news stories to the University web pages
  • Editing content in line with the University’s style guide and making sure it’s compliant with external guidelines, such as the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) and Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)
  • Sending bulk emails to staff and students
  • Investigating the quirks in the Web Content Management System such as missing images and broken links 
  • Offering advice and support on all of the above

And that’s by no means an exhaustive list.

11am 

In the office, I’d have had three cups of tea and various kitchen catch-ups by now, but you’ve got to make your own tea when you’re working from home (as well as providing your own biscuits, unfortunately). We fill this hole with regular Zoom team meetings and chats on Slack.

There’s usually an interesting webinar to watch and discuss too – we have a ‘learning lunch’ session every other week, where we watch relevant TED talks and interesting content related videos and we sign up for external conferences such as a recent Government seminar series on web page accessibility.

This should keep me going till lunchtime.

1pm – lunch  

Another part of working from home is that it’s easy not to see the sun. I’ll usually take a walk at lunchtime, and press my nose hopefully against the window of the nearby Greggs.

2pm 

We like to make ourselves generally useful and have different duties across Communications. Some of us are part of the social media rota, dealing with queries and scheduling posts on the University’s social platforms. We also contribute to the home page rota, making sure that the first page users see is pretty, up-to-date and full of (terrible) puns.

3pm 

We’ve got plenty of project work to be getting on with. Recently we’ve been helping with coursepage updates ahead of the next student recruitment cycle, and building and updating Hub pages for Access and Outreach programmes.

We also work with the Digital team to improve the accessibility of the University’s web pages to users with visual, cognitive, hearing or mobility impairments. We use a tool called Siteimprove to find the inaccessible pdfs, spelling mistakes and broken links which have slipped through the net, and we work through repairing these. You can find out more about how to make your content more accessible on the staff wiki.

5pm – the end of the day!

Before signing off, I’ll take a few minutes to tidy up any loose ends and schedule new or overhanging tasks on my calendar so I’m all ready to get going the next day.

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Published by

Elizabeth Wilson

Liz is a Content Assistant at the University of York. She is an ardent defender of the Oxford Comma.

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