A Day In The Life

Katie Philo

Katie Philo

Posted 01 April 2019

New York Program

March 2013 Intake

Current Role:
I’m a Social and Content Manager for BritBox, a streaming service created by the BBC and ITV and headquartered in NYC. I am responsible for sourcing, producing, publishing and optimizing digital content that promotes the service, brand and British culture to BritBox subscribers and beyond.

My Alarm Goes off...Around 7.20am. I listen to a podcast or music. Leave around 8.30am, pick up a coffee at my favorite local coffee spot in the East Village called The Roost, and walk to work listening to… you guessed it, more podcasts! It takes about 50 mins to walk and I’ll only ever take the Subway if there’s torrential rain. It’s such a peaceful way to start the day and always gives me a deep appreciation of New York when I discover things I’ve never noticed before.

I'm Responsible For…BritBox’s digital footprint. This means, I am the arbiter of things digital for the brand and its content on digital and social platforms. There are so many facets to the job, from project management, planning, publishing, curation, creating briefing, reporting… At the BBC in London, I was part of a much bigger team, so had a more specific set of responsibilities. BritBox is still relatively small, so I often find myself using very different skillsets and learning new things. I set the calendar and agenda for our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts in both regions, as well as overseeing the YouTube channel.

I Got The Job…I’d always wanted to work at the BBC from a young age, so naturally have spent the majority of my career working here. However, I also knew that I wanted to return to New York. As luck would have it, I came on holiday for two weeks and wanted to pop into the BBC offices in New York to see what they were like. I’d long been admiring the career of the US BBC Studios President Ann Sarnoff and she kindly agreed to meet me to impart some advice. It just so happened that BritBox was rapidly expanding and she kindly introduced me to various members of the team in the office. The fit felt so natural and aligned to my experience, and I’d always wanted to try working at a streaming service in a commercial setting. It was such a stroke of luck, and I never expected it to happen, but I am so grateful it did!

My Typical Day...I tend to get in around 9.30am and check all the social channels to see what’s been happening with the community, and also what’s been happening on the Internet. I often use various tools, such as CrowdTangle, which show the content that’s been going viral across the web and whether it’s something we should engage with. There’s no standard format to my day, but I will generally spend my time briefing and reviewing creative, planning and scheduling posts, engaging with the community, long-term campaign planning and any other ad hoc projects.

The Culture of my Workplace...The BBC is a very open, creative and collaborative. And more specifically, BritBox is nimble, energetic and fun. It’s great being part of a team defining the culture of a new brand — we like to experiment and take risks, which is exciting.

My Most Memorable Work Moment...So many! One was definitely working on The Royal Wedding from the NY office and being part of a team amplifying such a momentous event to North American audiences (even if it did involve a 4am wake-up call!). Other highlights include Comic Con in San Diego and doing a Facebook Live at the Britannia Awards in LA, during which we interviewed Jim Carrey, Cate Blanchett, Damian Lewis, Steve McQueen, to name a few.

My Role Models are...Friends doing cool stuff beyond their comfort zone. I find inspiration in people who I can relate to, as it makes my dreams feel more achievable. I’m lucky to have worked with loads of talented people at the BBC and so many of them have got side hustles. From illustration, club nights to podcasts, they’re all smashing it. Emma Gannon, Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton are all people I really admire too, as they’ve created multi-hyphenated careers based around their interests and strengths. New York as a city is also a huge source of inspiration to me, its energy is contagious.

The Most Challenging Part of My Job...The fact that social media never sleeps. It’s very easy for your brain to be whirring all the time, but I’ve found it’s absolutely essential to be able to switch off for both your sanity and to prevent any typos!

The Best Part of My Job...Being creative and learning every single day. New York is obviously pretty great too.

After Work...You’ll find me walking home (weather permitting), doing yoga, watching a movie, having dinner with friends, or working on my podcast. And of course, doing absolutely nothing. In a busy city, it’s always tempting to fill up your calendar but it’s important to give yourself time to just chill.

Plan B:
Millennials are going to have multiple careers throughout their lives and I think the stigma is really lifting around the idea of being a jack of all trades (something I definitely consider myself to be after working in this industry). Emma Gannon’s book ‘The Multi-Hyphen method’ really celebrates the idea of a Portfolio Career and having many strings to your bow — and this is really what I want from my career. I don’t necessarily think about there being binary options of A or B, but rather A, B, C and D, then E, F and G, with a spot of A and B. I want to try film, a bit of radio again, podcasting, writing… The great thing with the internet is that you can make any of these dreams a reality and don’t need to wait for anyone to give you permission to create anything. And this is what I intend to do!