30 Nov Staying Organized in the Labyrinth of PR
If you work in a public relations agency then you’re probably all too familiar with a giant to-do list and juggling 15 different balls at once. In our industry, there are a lot of deadlines, expectations, and deliverables. These three things can make it difficult to manage your work while giving 100% to the whole list, especially if you don’t know how to stay organized. No matter how seasoned you are, there’s probably always something that can be improved when it comes to organization. Here are a few suggestions on how to get (and stay) organized.
- Have a running to-do list
This is a pretty basic tip, but also one that’s too often overlooked or forgotten. We all have different ways of staying organized, but a general rule of thumb for me is to always have a running to-do list. Whether on your phone, in a notebook or in your email – get in the habit of writing down every task. If you have one place where you can refer back to all your tasks, you will likely meet your deadlines.
In an agency, you might receive a new deadline for a client project suddenly or you might need to unexpectedly help a colleague. Writing things down as you get them – makes it less likely that you will forget them. An organized to-do list will help you feel more relaxed with the bonus that crossing things off will help you feel more accomplished and motivated.
- Prioritize your tasks
To me, proper prioritizing is the key to being successful at any job. While every project and client is important, there are some tasks that require a little more attention or speed. Sometimes it can be hard to figure out which takes precedence – take a step back to prioritize those by deadlines or which ones might take more time. No one wants to be doing an important task at the very last minute. Remember, it’s okay to say no to additional work or check in with a team lead on how they’d like you to focus your energy if that list of priorities is getting too long. Ultimately, prioritizing will help you, your team and your clients succeed.
- Clean out your email
We’re all guilty of letting our emails notifications get out of control. I find that going through my emails every day and filing them in the proper place helps me stay better organized. During the day, I leave necessary (but less important) emails unread and at the end of the day, I go through each one and I try to either answer them or note any additional tasks. While it’s easy to leave emails unread, it’s also the best way to miss important tasks. For me, there’s truly no better feeling than when your inbox says 0 or when you’ve filed them away.
If you ever find yourself struggling to keep up, get back to the basics. These tips are not guarantees, but they’re a good start to succeeding in the fast-paced environment of public relations.