August 29, 2017
How to Stay Organized When You Work in PR
While working in public relations can seem glamorous, the reality is that between deadlines, daily tasks, and emails from clients and editors that pop-up at all moments of the day, it can seem like a mountain of details to stay on top of. I don’t know about you, but I am constantly reinventing my organization routine as I encounter hiccups in my current methods and as I grow more into my position here at ACPR! If you have an overflowing inbox, sticky notes littering your desk or are just working on improving your organization, see below from some tips I’ve learned on my own journey to #organizationstation.
Write everything down.
I am guilty of thinking I’m on top of everything, only to be asked about project that totally slipped my mind. First off, own your mistake, but examine how exactly the project worked its way through your grasp. You’re a competent, hardworking PR girl. You wouldn’t just let a project slip off! I write everything down (and I mean, everything). While it’s useful to keep track of feedback and my daily tasks, it was more of a brain dump in a notebook with no useful way to track long-term projects. So while this is still my best way to note feedback, I adopted a planner for everything else. Which leads me to my next point.
Invest in a quality planner.
Outlining your day by hour and then your to-do list makes a world of a difference. It just so happens that we represent Day Designer, the quintessential organization tool that has a cult-like following (which I am definitely a part of). Having used their planners in college, I thought my lifestyle would demand a different organizational method once I was out of school. With sections to outline your schedule, to-dos, gratitude, and more, I have again reached for this planner that will let me outline my day, week, and month (my favorite cover is Jungle Out There). Whatever it is you need in a planner, find something that lets you write down everything you need to accomplish in a way that makes sense to you. Once your head is cleared of your to-dos and in your trusty planner, you can then focus on crushing your list for the day!
Own your inbox.
Frankly, I’m not sure how Allyson does it (considering she gets hundreds of emails per day), because staying on top of my email is trickier than I had ever imagined. I had never paid attention to the features that different mailboxes offer when I was in school, but today I am obsessed with the flag feature. It’s an easy way to color code emails so you can know where projects stand, if they warrant a response from you or if you’re awaiting a response from someone else. Whatever features your mailbox might have, don’t discount the tools available to help you comb through everything. Another rule of thumb to use is to look through your emails both at the end and beginning of your day. You’d be surprised what you might have missed when you’re looking at your inbox with fresh eyes!
Staying organized isn’t easy, but it pays off tenfold in regards to owning your job, not feeling overwhelmed, and building a rapport with your team that you have major follow-through on all your projects. Don’t be afraid to try new methods or evolve your current ones to best stay on top of it all!
Kelly Tafoya is the ACPR Public Relations Coordinator. A Fort Collins native, she has a penchant for shoes, obsession with swans and a serious case of wanderlust.
Photo courtesy of @allysonconklinpr