Top tips for PR Pros to increased productivity

With the winter holidays fast approaching many practitioners nearing the end of the year will be ready to switch off from the day-to-day work, recharge their batteries and look for ways to increase their productivity during 2018.

To do this, the team from PR Hub have collated a selection best tips for increasing your productivity to help make you a more effective PR pro.

Prioritise the most important tasks – Inc.com

Concentrate on a couple of your most substantial jobs you need to complete. At the start of a day, knock out your highest priority tasks prior to reading the news or responding to emails. Got a task for a client that you have been putting off for a while? Or has a client asked you to do something that you think you will struggle with? Do it first thing in the morning and don’t start another task until you have finished it. Sometimes starting a task is the hardest part – just start it and get it done and you will feel much better once it’s off your plate. Not only will you get it out the way early in your day, meaning that you have more time for other clients. But your client will be impressed that you have got it to them before the deadline.time later on in your day and assures that they’ll get done in a timely manner.

Step away from the computer –Manifest Comms

No matter how busy you feel you are it is important to take breaks throughout the day. I often go for a quick walk around the block to get moving and to focus myself. You can’t always be working at optimum productivity so aim for working in short bursts at productive times. The important thing is to give your head a breather, especially if you are working on multiple accounts. You will be surprised at how much more productive you feel after a five-minute break.

Turn off all distractions – PR Institute for Australia

Distractions are everywhere, and because we live surrounded by ‘smart’ devices, we are engulfed in them every minute of every day. I’m talking about Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and any recipe websites you may frequent during procrastination. Distractions only happen if you let them. Put your mobile away so that you can plan, strategize and achieve your daily goals.

Delegate and use your entire PR team – Matter Communications
Whether you’re a PR team manager or senior account executive, be sure to leverage the strengths of your entire team when it comes to client interactions, administrative tasks, pitching the media, research, building media lists, trade shows, etc. Playing to team members’ strengths will make your job easier and drive better results for the client. Don’t fear delegation. It’s important to pass the work on to team members with necessary skills who are motivated to get the job done. If you push work on to more junior team members, it will free your time and help younger PR professionals grow and learn.

Learn to say “no.” – PR Daily
This is perhaps one of the hardest tips to follow, because most of us are ambitious by nature and believe we can do it all. Don’t just say “no” when you want to, but when you must decline because of more pressing commitments. If a client or your boss asks, “Can you get this right away?” and you realistically can’t, be honest and say so. You can do so in a polite and even accommodating manner, offering a response like: “Would two hours from now work for you? That way I can give my full attention and deliver the best results.” What client wouldn’t take that over a rush job? (Or even better, request “end of day” to allow yourself, even more, time and not throw off the rest of your day’s activities.)

Meeting etiquette – Steve Waddington’s Blog (@Wadds)
Meetings and conference calls are one of the biggest productivity sinks of modern business life. Never accept a meeting without an agenda, always prepare and insist that the goals and the outcomes are defined. Always avoid post meeting gossip. It’s never helpful.

Embrace the to-do list – Matter Communications
I love the feel of paper in my hands – whether it’s notebook paper or newspaper. So, you could venture to guess that I’m a paper to-do list kind of gal. I cherish my paper to-do list. I find the repetitive nature of jotting down tasks on a sheet of paper each day helpful. It helps train my brain to know what needs to get done. I can’t lie but I get a little thrill every time I cross off a task on my list. Tell me I’m not alone on that one?

If all else fails, Get up earlier – American Express Open Forums
Research shows that mornings can make or break your day. It’s not uncommon for successful CEOs to start their day well before 6 a.m. In 27 Executives Who Wake Up Really Early, we see how incredibly busy people—from Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE, to Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo—use their mornings to seize the day. Use the mantra “mind over mattress” to motivate yourself to get out of bed to pursue your goals. As Laura Vanderkam says in What Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide To Making Over Your Morning—And Life, while many are sleeping in, successful people are already up and getting a lot done. If this is not your preference, Vanderkam advises starting with small steps, such as getting up just 15 minutes earlier every day and gradually increasing the time.

Feel free to share your ideas via @PRhub on Twitter.

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HOW NOT TO HANDLE A SOCIAL MEDIA CRISIS

When things go wrong, burying your head in the sand is the worst thing you can do.

We’ve all seen it happen. Social media is awash with examples of companies or employees doing something they shouldn’t and getting caught. But when a storm hits, going quiet or burying your head in the sand causes nothing but further issues.

On the 5th May 2017, Cycling Today, the online cycling publication, posted a news story featuring a video showing an aggressive van driver forcing a cyclist off the road. The driver, probably unaware that his actions would be caught on a dash cam, is seen driving close behind the cyclist and then, when traffic clears on the other carriageway, they are seen drawing alongside the bike and driving it off the road and onto the verge.

Cycling Today shared a tweet linking to the story, while that tweet didn’t attract a large audience, it did catch the attention of radio presenter Jeremy Vine. He shared the post with his 600,000+ followers. And with that, the story began to go viral.

No matter how well you select your employees or how comprehensive your guidelines and procedures, things can still go wrong and when they do, companies need to act fast and smart in order to protect their reputation.

With a barrage of messages, the company responded by saying that the employee had been “identified” and that “appropriate action had been taken”, but with mounting pressure, the firm opted to delete its Twitter account and go silent in an attempt to ride out the controversy. By closing down the account, it closed off a channel of communication. This never solves the problem, only stops those wishing to vent from having somewhere to direct it.

At Mobas, our PR and Social media team work with businesses to provide support and assistance should a crisis arise. Every situation is different, but here are five basic principles to think about:

  1. Be transparent and authentic in your communications during a crisis.

Don’t try to hide or play down a situation. Be open and truthful about the action you’re taking. You won’t be able to please everyone all the time, however, when people look back at your social activity around a crisis it is much better for your feed to demonstrate how you were an open and transparent organisation.

2. Keep people updated.

Crisis situations evolve quickly and, if you are using social media as a key channel to communicate with your audience, you need to communicate regularly, even if only to say that you can’t give an update until later.

3. Control access.

Who manages your feeds? Is it the Marketing Exec or the CEO? During a crisis situation, it is vital that your social accounts are in safe hands. If you have professional MarComms practitioners, they will be best placed to manage the flow of communication. If not, hire a team to help you should the need arise.

4. Craft your messages.

Don’t rush to post, take the time to get the message right and seek a second opinion to ensure your messages are clear and can’t be easily misinterpreted.

5. Keep calm.

Don’t enter into tit-for-tat exchanges and don’t take criticism to heart. Keeping a cool head and remaining objective is key to successfully handling a crisis.

FIFA: PRs should communicate news, not be the story

It was widely reported yesterday that Fifa’s communications director Walter De Gregorio has been sacked after sealing his fate with a joke about the governing body on Swiss TV.

The moral in the FIFA comms office has probably been at an all time low in recent weeks following the election and subsequent resignation of Sepp Blatter but Walter De Gregorio sealed his fate and become a news story himself with a joke about the governing body on Swiss TV.

Gregorio told Swiss chat show Schawinski: “The Fifa president, secretary general and communications director are all travelling in a car. Who’s driving? The police.”

Fifa announced in a statement  that De Gregorio had “relinquished his office”. But the BBC, along with other outlets are reporting that he was asked to leave by president Sepp Blatter.

It wasn’t the first time De Gregorio put his foot in his mouth. PRWeek reported that last month, at an emergency press conference hours after FIFA officials were arrested, he described the FBI-led arrests of FIFA senior executives as “a good day” for the organization. Asked for his boss’ mood, he said Blatter was “not dancing in his office” about the arrests.

 

Feature in our regional Agency Directory

We are fortunate to have a number of excellent PR and Communications agencies in the region. To help connect agencies with potential clients, we are building a regional Agency Directory. As with everything on PR Hub, the directory will be free for all so if you’d like your agency to be featured please email hello@prhub.org.

All we need to know if your agency name, URL, specialities, client list (optional) and your address. We will do the rest.

You can view the skeleton directory here.

Free PR Tools – PR Stack E-book

Professional development doesn’t need to be expensive and to prove this point, former CIPR President Stephen Waddington (@wadds) and his team of 19 contributors have created a wonderful free e-book, My PRstack – A practical guide to modern PR tools and workflow. 

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 09.15.08The book, which was launched today, brings together 19 contributors, 15,000 words, 40+ tools to make you a better PR Professional. The book consists of a series of case studies by public relations practitioners exploring modern aspects of public relations practice and best of all, it’s free.

The ebook is distributed free under a Creative Commons license via the #PRstack community. You can download a PDF and the chapters will all be shared as blog posts each day over the next three weeks on the PR Stack website.

The #PRstack community started as a blog post in mid-December. A community developed around a Google spreadsheet over the next 50 days. It described more than 100 tools.

Prezly’s Frederik Vincx offered development time to build a web app to sit on top of the #PRstack Google document to help people interrogate the data and the PRstack app was launch in early March. It now describes more than 250 tools.

Take two minutes to print your copy, learn from the best and be sure to thank those who contributed to the project.

Happy learning

– Adam T