Always feel like you’re running to catch up?
Public relations is not a field for the unorganized or easily stressed out. When I first started out, I wasn’t keen on suddenly cleaning up my act, but it happened anyway. If I didn’t learn how to organize, my career would’ve gone up in smoke in no time. There’s just too much to keep track of.
Need some help with your own organization? It can be a tough nut to crack, especially starting out. Here are a few things to do in your own PR efforts to streamline the process.
Still signing into your various accounts separately? First you sign into client No. 1’s Twitter, then client No. 2. Oh wait, you forgot to do something for client No. 1, so back to them. Now it’s onto client No. 3, and what’s the password again?
Seriously, cut it out. It’s time to sign up for a service such as Hootsuite or ExactTarget. You sign into your various social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, even WordPress), load them into a feed, and you’re set. No more signing in all the time.
Speaking of Hootsuite and the like, you may want to consider scheduling some of your posts throughout the day. This is a hotly debated topic in the PR world, but I think it can be extremely helpful. You only really run into trouble when you schedule things too far in advance and there’s a terrible coincidence (like a national tragedy that unfortunately relates to your tweet).
Scheduling posts ahead of time can save you from having to go back and post stuff regularly. This way you can just concentrate on answering any questions or comments you get and just let it run itself. Just make sure to check back once in a while to make sure it’s all running smoothly.
Healthy file system
One of the quickest things I had to learn when I started in the PR world was to organize my files. You will accumulate files way faster than you think you will, even if you’re just doing PR for one company. Everything just adds up: blog posts, invoices, press releases, what have you.
The way I do it is to organize everything by client and by month. If I’m working on ongoing projects, I might save documents in two spots, by project and by month. When the year runs out, I archive it under that year and store it away. (And ongoing project files are still in my various project folders.) Your mileage may vary on this, but the key is to get organized, no matter how you do it.
Also, make sure to save everything to the cloud. I use Mozy, as it automatically uploads certain folders every so often. This way I don’t have to worry about anything if my computer crashes. The last thing you need is to lose a bunch of material when you’re already pressed for time.
Want to grow your PR efforts and campaigns? Then as soon as you feasibly can, delegate a few tasks off to someone else. Hire an employee, or grab a coworker, or seek out an intern; somebody who can help free you from the day to day tasks.
Once you do that, you can really streamline your process. This will allow you to perform other tasks that can help solidify all your campaign efforts rather than spinning wheels trying to keep up with everything.
Do you think organization is important to PR?
Mickie Kennedy is the CEO and founder of
and blogs at
, where a version of this article originally appeared.