As a PR pro working in lifestyle public relations, Q4 can be the busiest time of year! Between 2021 planning sessions, client meetings and pitching it can all seem a bit daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! I’ve always enjoyed planning ahead as it keeps me on track and allows me to have sight over my busy days during the week.
Plan out your day or week using a priorities tracker
As the year is quickly coming to an end, I have a ton of more items to handle on my plate! I love to organize my day by blocking out time for my tasks either by the half-hour or the hour. I found this helps me stay accountable in terms of completing a task within the allotted time. I give myself as much time as I think I need for a specific task, too, so I don’t feel like I don’t have enough time. I make it a point to complete my most important tasks earlier in the day and my not so pressing tasks later in the day just in case a high priority task takes longer than I anticipated. If you enjoy color coding as I do, try marking completed tasks in green to note they are completed. This allows me to feel accomplish and gives me the illusion of checking a task off a list.
Prepare to be on multiple planning sessions in the coming weeks
Q4 is filled with a bunch of planning sessions for each client to map out public relations plans and marketing for the following year. Ahead of the planning sessions, it’s important to keep an eye out for what’s happening in the world. For example, this year we have had to monitor news regarding COVID-19 and of course, the election. Knowing these two events will be in talks and in the news cycle for months to come, it’s important to keep them in mind when putting together 2021 PR Plans. Be sure to carve out time to complete your other tasks when having PR planning sessions with clients, too!
Keep an eye on the news cycle
2020 itself has been a whirlwind of a year, to say the least. While working at a public relations agency, it’s always important to know what’s going on in the world or even a city you might be pitching. For example, on Election Day, it was best to not conduct outreach as we knew the news cycle would only be focusing on the Election. When COVID-19 hit the news cycle, we needed to pivot most of our PR plans for a while in order to be sensitive and respectful towards what was happening in the world and what was relevant in this “new normal.”
Get ready to manage up
Something I used to struggle with was coming to terms with the fact that I couldn’t finish everything in one day. I learned that it’s okay to let managers know you will not be able to have something completed as long as you provide the line of sight on the situation. With more calls coming up and as we are all still navigating working remotely, I personally provide my team’s line of sight on my schedule on days where I have multiple calls. This allows them to understand where I’ve spent most of my day! Also keep in mind that with the holidays, team members may take extra days off here and there. Be sure to provide them with any materials they need before their PTO, etc.
I hope these tips help you stay ahead and on track for Q4 and the holidays. Happy planning!