PR is an industry that many do not understand and this means that most of the time, agencies are undervalued. Due to the lack of appreciation businesses have for PR, agencies have a small team of staff who manage different aspects of various accounts.
To all working in the PR industry- if you are ever feeling overwhelmed or feel like you’re struggling with managing your workload- just follow these five super effective time management practices. You will be amazed with how much more efficient you will be.
1. STOP LIVING IN YOUR INBOX
When you see an email pop up asking you to do something- write down the task in your notepad!
At the end of each day read over your notes- see what you have completed and what you still need to complete, without the task getting lost amongst a sea of incoming emails.
The difficult thing about working in an agency environment, but also one of the most interesting parts, is that each Executive or Account Manager works on various accounts for different clients. This means that each client believes that THEY are your first priority. On top of this, as a junior in a company, everyone needs your help, and everyone thinks that their work is of highest priority.
The key to managing time and stress here is prioritizing by deadlines. With both clients and work colleagues that are senior to you, simply ensure you know the latest time you are able to get the work to them and work from there.
What is crucial to know about PR agencies is that work is never really done, as PR professionals remain underpaid and undervalued.
3. SET REMINDERS
As a PR Professional your calendar is your new best friend.
Setting reminders is a perfect way to ensure client requests are not forgotten. As PR is a very reactive industry, you can often start a task and in the middle of completing it, receive a phone call about a new business opportunity, or an email call out from a magazine for product from your client. If you need to stop what you are doing to effectively respond to an issue in a timely manner- SET A REMINDER to complete the task at a later time.
4.RECAP ON YOUR WORKLOAD AT THE END OF EACH DAY
At the end of each day- look through the notes you have made and organise the work that you NEED to complete before you leave or that is top priority for the next morning. A PR professionals job is never done- there is always more we can do. So make sure that you don’t stay back in the office too late finishing work that can be done in the morning!
5. PLAN YOUR WEEK BY CLIENT HOURS
In an PR agency environment, as we are undervalued, client work for the month is divided by hours between Executives, Account Managers and Senior Account Managers.
An easy tip to ensuring you complete your work for a specific client within the allocated hours for that month is by setting yourself up a weekly workload spreadsheet. It sounds boring- but it works like a charm! When you are planning your weeks work, simply ask your superiors “How long should I be spending on each task?”
This way you can see what is expected of you, whether you are meeting expectations, how long it is taking you to complete each task and, subsequently, which areas you need to improve on in ensuring you are working to your maximum potential.
I hope these tips help someone as much as I feel they helped me!