We’ve all heard of spring-cleaning, and in the South, freezer cleaning when hurricane season arrives. (That is, you use all of the items in the freezer so you don’t lose them in case the power goes out).
Both are dedicated times when you stop each year to focus on clearing out the clutter and reorganizing.
While it’s hard to slow down in the PR world, summer can be the ideal time to take a break and clean up the shop. Add it to your Outlook calendar and tackle those things that will make life easier.
To ensure it’s manageable, focus on a few simple items. In one week, for example, you can accomplish five core tasks that can help make your job easier.
1. Sort through your contacts. Make sure contact information is up-to-date and eliminate duplicates in Outlook.
2. Renew your memberships. Professional development is a must and is also a great resource. Check your memberships to make sure they are current.
3. Review the media list. Yes, you have resources to do this for you, but take the time to sift through the entire list. You will be surprised by the media outlets that are missing or the staff changes that are not reflected in the list because it has been a while since you slowed down and put eyes on the list.
4. Take time to actually plan. Most PR pros think in 30, 60, or 90-day increments. This is a professional hazard. Take an afternoon or two and put together a yearlong PR plan with goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics just as you were taught.
5. Dust off the crisis plan that you know is around the office somewhere. Make sure it’s up to date and still relevant to potential threats to your organization.
We are busy, but by slowing down and taking some time to get ourselves in order we can be more productive and efficient at our jobs. Don’t have an assistant or an intern do it; these tasks need your eyes and your time.
Just think that if you don’t tackle this now, the holiday rush will be upon us before we know it and then there is no time to stop.
Linzy Roussel Cotaya is a New Orleans based public relations professional with a social media hobby. Her resumé includes a mix of ad agency and nonprofit experience. Follow Linzy on Twitter @zzcrawfish, or on www.crawfishtales.com. A version of this story first appeared on the blog PRBreakfastClub.