5 Productivity Tips for PR Professionals
In a fast-paced, ever-changing industry such as Public Relations and Marketing, you need to make everyday count. Productivity is key and staying organized is one of the top ways to do so. If you’re juggling a family, it’s even more important to be as organized as possible as you can easily lose your train of thought!
Below we’ll discuss some of the Best Productivity Tips For PR Professionals to help you not just be productive, but stay productive. Personally, this has been a constant struggle since I started over 15 years ago, trying to find what works and what doesn’t. That being said, someone gave me a piece of advice when I first started. They said:
“Marketing is never done. You can always do more, so know when to call it day and start fresh the next.”
I was so overwhelmed with clients and things I needed to do for them, that I was staying late at the office every night. This is no way to live. So find a strategy that works for you and know when to call it a day and start fresh the next morning.
Tip #1: Lists
Ah, lists…where would we be without them? I love lists for everything in my life, but especially work. The feeling of satisfaction when you can cross or check a task off your list is fantastic and makes you feel accomplished. But they keep you organized too. Even if only one item gets accomplished, I will often rewrite the same list from day to day or week to week, as it serves as a reminder to keep these tasks at the forefront of my mind. Remember, if you feel like you “can’t get anything done,” think about your list…is it too long perhaps? You should have a reasonable list of 2-3 large tasks. I have multiple lists in my daily planner and phone, for when I don’t have access to my planner. But I always have my “Top To Do’s” and my smaller “easy check off” to do’s. My Top To-Do’s will all take 1 hour, my daily to do’s are all quick items that can be done in under an hour.
Top To Do’s
- Pitch Client A – national broadcast
- Draft PR Plan for Client B
- Draft & Send Agendas for Tuesday
Daily To Do’s
- Email Client A reminder for phone interview tomorrow
- Send thank you to reporter for story covering Client B
- Schedule photo shoot for Client C
Tip #2: Timeblock
Time Blocking can seem tedious and overly OCD, but wow, it keeps you on track! I will timeblock my days based on different tasks or themes, but everyone is different. Sometimes I timeblock based upon clients, other times pitches and sometimes, just the most important items I need done. I’m most successful when I sit down on Sunday, look at my schedule for the next week and make a game plan. I first make a list and then timeblock that list into my different days. Sometimes, I need to timeblock for the next day at the end of every day as different unforeseen tasks pop up. Regardless how you do it or if you only choose to timeblock for your busiest days, it helps you stay organized, resulting in more productivity.
9 – 10 am: Top To-Do List
10 – 11:30 am: Pitch Client A to local broadcast
11:30 am – 12 pm: Client call
12-12:30 pm: Lunch
12:30-1:30 pm: Social Media Posts – all platforms
1:30-3:30 pm: Pitch Client B – national business
3:30-4:30 pm: New business outreach
4:30-5 pm: Timeblock for next day
Tip #3: Keep Clients to Allotted Time
It’s very easy to work more on a client than you have budgeted as PR & Marketing is never done, remember? There’s always more people to pitch, more ideas to brainstorm and more ways to increase visibility, monitor, etc. But it’s important to know how much time, at least a range, so you can organize your list of to-do items in order of importance. You should not be spending more time on a smaller client budgeted for 10 hours than a larger client that is budgeted for 20 hours. Like I said, it’s easy to do, especially when you want to do whatever you can for your clients and the amount of hours doesn’t always translate into measurable results. This is why we always work more! But you have to be realistic and set your hours accordingly or you will lose out on productivity for another.
Tip #4: The Early Bird Gets…More Work Done
Waking up early has many benefits. One important benefit, for me anyways, is that I have a few hours uninterrupted to get done the most important “Top To Do’s” on my list. No kids, no emails, no calls, no noise. I do this, as so many tasks pop up during the day that I would have a timeblock to get something done and it would get bumped for something “immediate.” Give yourself a few hours in the morning (or in the evening if you’re a nightowl), that allows you to focus on important tasks. My days are filled with client calls, answering emails, meetings, photo shoots, TV segments and more. When that happens, the “office work” doesn’t go away, it just piles up. This ensures that I get my “Top To-Do’s” done and not stress out about items slipping through the cracks.
Tip #5: Set Boundaries
Setting boundaries is very important. When I spoke about office work, this is what I’m talking about. You need time to actually get the work done and that can’t happen if you’re in constant back-to-back meetings and calls. Choose the days you schedule calls and meetings and leave other days open so you can count on those days for other tasks. Yes, sometimes you’re forced to schedule something very timely, but only if it’s absolutely necessary.
Also, set boundaries with people too. The moment you answer a call at 6 am or 8 pm, you open up that door that you are available during those times. Again, if there’s an emergency or something needs to be finished before the next morning, ok. But on the regular, keep your working hours for work and your personal hours for family. This will ultimately help with productivity because you’re keeping yourself “timeblocked.”
Introduction to Bettie Bomb
Founded in 2005, Bettie Bomb is a Chicago-based collective communications agency, offering a suite of services from trusted industry partners under one creative umbrella. PR, Marketing, Social Media and beyond…we work as an extension of your team, creating personalized campaigns, building awareness and telling your story when it matters most.
We are a Female-Owned Chicago Public Relations Agency specializing in all things lifestyle: food, fashion, hospitality, retail, health & wellness, medical, consumer and philanthropy. Partners Rebecca Kussmann & Laura Collins work closely with businesses & organizations to target key audiences and generate exposure all under the Bettie Bomb umbrella. Work one-on-one or have us build a team. We can be BIG and we can be small…that’s the beauty of it. Small, but mighty with the ability to grow. That’s us in a nutshell.