This article first appeared in O’Dwyers.
Between pitching, newsjacking, pitching, writing, researching, client deliverables, and pitching, how is it possible to keep everything straight? We all know that the PR world can get hectic at times, so making sure you are organized is vital for success. Whether you are on one client account or six, organization can help you provide better-quality work for your clients – it helps to keep you straight on meeting deadlines, too.
Here are some pointers on how to stay organized as a PR pro:
Create a daily to-do list, and go by it!
Start your day off by writing down the tasks you have to do by day’s end. As you complete each task, cross it off the list (trust me, this will make you feel so accomplished). It’s OK if you don’t get EVERYTHING on your list completed – there is no shame in rolling it over to tomorrow’s list.
Prioritize your tasks.
After you have created your to-do list, you must prioritize your tasks for the day. Sometimes this can get tricky, so base your list on upcoming deadlines or items that have been lingering on your list for some time.
Stick to a schedule.
When you have what seems like 1,000 items on your to-do list, how do you get it all done in one day? Stick to a schedule, that’s how. Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Twitter, likes to give each day of the week a theme – for example, Mondays are focused on management, Tuesdays are for products, etc. Personally, I like to dedicate my mornings to catching up on email, creating my to-do list, coverage tracking, newsjacking, and, of course – pitching. See what works best for you, and stick to it.
Create an email filing system.
I am a huge fan of utilizing folders, sub-folders and sub-sub-folders. It is much easier to find that press release from eight months ago if it is located in a “press releases” folder in your mail box. Don’t be ashamed to go crazy and create sub-folders for individual client initiatives, either. The more, the merrier!
Set calendar reminders!
For those of you who do not already do this…stop what you are doing and do it! I have found that setting calendar reminders is a great way to never forget about an action item, especially if it is not in the near future. If your client wants you to remember an award announcement on December 12 at 9:00 a.m. PT, set a reminder, or risk forgetting.
Use Google Drive to stay organized.
Another way to keep documents organized, especially for teams, is on Google Drive. Having a separate folder set up for each client account makes it easy to share and work on documents together without the hassle of wasting time searching for the latest revision. This tool is particularly handy for virtual teams.
If you are not already implementing one or more of these tips, try them out and see how they work for you. Staying organized can only help you succeed in your career as a PR professional.