Staying Organized in the Lightning-Fast World of PR
I’ve always been able to pride myself on my organization skills (everywhere besides in my car, that is!), and I live and breathe by lists, at work, and in my personal life. I actually go so far as to write two grocery lists out each week – one for the things I want as they come to my head, and the second list is where I put all those items in order of where they can be found in the store. I’m not kidding.
My organization skills, however, were given a run for their money when I took a job in tech PR. You see, in this industry things move fast, like really fast, so it’s 1,000 percent necessary to stay organized in the motions of our day-to-day, which is often easier said than done. Here are some of the best practices I’ve developed for staying organized in the lightning-fast world of public relations:
If it’s not written down, there’s a pretty good chance I won’t remember it. That’s why when I go to the kitchen to warm up my lunch or pop my head into a team members office, it’s not unlike me to bring a notebook and pen with me, just in case a conversation runs long or goes off track, so I can write down any of the client tasks we may end up discussing. I typically type out my to-do lists, but throughout the day it inevitably gets messy with scribbles and cross-outs, so at that point, I take a break, re-type it, delete things I’ve done, add in new assignments, and re-print. There is something so satisfying to me about printing out a clean, to-do list.
Sometimes you have to just quit while you’re ahead. When the speed of things starts to feel overwhelming, I don’t actually quit, but I almost always take a break. Many times, if I’m feeling frazzled when things are moving really fast at the office or my email is backed up to the point where I think I’ll never catch up, I get up and go for a walk outside, grab a coffee, or just step away from my desk for a few minutes. Almost every time I do that, I come back to my desk feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the workload.
Plan it out
In PR, we cover everything from writing articles to drafting social and everything else in between. No matter the size of the task, however, I find that I’m always far more successful when I plan it out before jumping in. When writing an article on a client’s behalf, I’m always sure to draft as much as I know (or at least organize it out by each part), and then from there, when I’m left with questions, I compile them for my clients to help guide me the rest of the way. When building out social campaigns, I rely heavily on content calendars, where I can lay out the topics for the week or month ahead before I begin drafting the content. Seeing topics laid out in the order in which they will post gives me a bird’s-eye view of where our focus is and whether or not it’s on track to meet our client’s goals.
Do you need help getting organized in your daily PR routine? I’m happy to help get you there! Message me on Twitter at @ash_collazo.