Working in PR is anything, but a typical 9-5 office job and it takes more than a few espressos to make it through the day. For PR professionals, time is of the essence. The fast-paced nature of the industry demands swift action, clear communication, and a proactive approach. But how can you ensure you’re making the most of every minute? Here are five strategies to help you optimise your time, deliver exceptional results and find better work-life balance.
1. Prioritise Tasks with the Eisenhower Box
The Eisenhower Box, also known as the Urgent-Important Matrix, is a simple tool to help you decide on and prioritise tasks by urgency and importance. Tasks are divided into:
– Urgent and important: Do these immediately.
– Important but not urgent: Schedule these.
– Urgent but not important: Delegate these.
– Neither urgent nor important: Consider dropping them.
For instance, responding to a crisis communication situation is both urgent and important. On the other hand, planning a campaign for next year is important but not urgent.
2. Embrace Media Intelligence
Media intelligence is more than just monitoring mentions and tracking metrics. It’s about understanding the media landscape, recognising trends, and predicting potential challenges or opportunities. By leveraging media intelligence tools, PR professionals can gain insights into audience sentiment, competitor actions, and emerging narratives. This not only helps in crafting timely and relevant messages but also in setting smart goals.
Setting SMART Goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. For PR professionals, this might mean setting a goal like “Increase our brand’s positive media mentions by 15% in the next six months”. By being specific and time-bound, you can focus your efforts more effectively.
3. Batch Similar Tasks
Grouping similar tasks can be a game-changer. Instead of jumping from writing a press release to answering emails, then back to brainstorming campaign ideas, batch tasks. Dedicate specific blocks of time to similar activities. For example, set aside Monday mornings for team meetings, Tuesday afternoons for content creation, and Wednesday mornings for media outreach. This reduces the mental load of switching between tasks and can improve concentration.
4. Limit Interruptions
In the world of PR, interruptions are inevitable. Breaking news, urgent client calls, or sudden crises can throw a spanner in the works. However, not every interruption is a crisis. Set specific times for checking emails or social media notifications. Inform colleagues and clients about your focused work periods and let them know when you’ll be available for communication. This ensures that you can dive deep into tasks without constant distractions.
5. Invest in Continuous Learning
The PR landscape is ever-evolving. New tools, platforms, and strategies emerge regularly. By dedicating time to learn and update your skills, you ensure that you’re not spending unnecessary time on outdated methods. For example, if a new tool can automate media monitoring in half the time it takes you now, that’s a significant time-saving worth investing in.
Time is a finite resource. For PR and Comms professionals, maximising time efficiency isn’t just about getting more done; it’s about getting the right things done in a way that drives results. Get in touch and let’s talk about how you can make the most of your day and stay organised.