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We have all heard of Spring cleaning and in the South, where I am from, we have freezer cleaning when it is hurricane season.(This basically means you use all of the items in the freezer so in case you lose power you don’t lose a lot of frozen items). Either way they are both dedicated times that you stop each year to focus on clearing out the clutter and reorganizing yourself.
While it is hard to stop in the PR world, summer is the perfect time to stop and clean up the shop. Add it to your Outlook calendar to save time for cleaning. Tackle those things that you wish you had time to do that would make life easier but you don’t have time to stop.
Find the time and focus on just a few simple items so it is manageable. In one week you can accomplish 5 core things that can help make your job easier.
• Sort through your contacts. Make sure contact information is up-to-date and eliminate duplicates in Outlook.
• Renew your memberships. Professional development is a must and is also a great resource. Check your memberships to make sure they are current.
• Review the media list. Yes, you have resources to do this for you but take the time to sit down and sift by hand through the entire list. You will be surprised the media outlets that are missing or staff changes that are not reflected in the list just because it has been a while since you have slowed down to really put eyes on the list.
• Take time to actually plan. Most PR pros think in 30, 60 or 90 day increments. It is a professional hazard. Take an afternoon or two and put together a yearlong PR plan with goals, objectives, strategies and tactics like you were taught to do.
• Dust off the crisis plan that you know is around the office somewhere. Make sure it is 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 means that 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.