Public relations and communications is the perfect balance of routine and spontaneity. The regular pieces of communication — newsletters, social media posts, blogs — are interspersed with last minute projects, emergency response, crisis communications and issues management.
The key is to not push the essentials, those regular pieces of communications, to the backburner if you’re getting bogged down.
Years of communications experience has helped me find that effective balance in PR; however, this summer, I discovered how easy it is to get off-balance as an entrepreneur.
What went wrong
I had a rhythm, a solid routine that allowed me to be effective for my clients without neglecting my own business development. Regular blog posts were written. Social media posts were crafted. Things were humming along nicely.
And then summer happened. Schedules changed. Last minute projects happened over and over again. Sleeping in became more appealing. Routine went out the window. And here we are, one month since my last blog post and social media has been scattered and far from cohesive.
When things get crazy, the first thing to get pushed down the priority list is our own business development. But as a relatively new business, this part of the job is just as important as the work for our clients.
This week is about getting back on track. How am I going to do that? Here are a few quick tricks that I’m using to re-establish routine and process.
1. Use the calendar. Block a meeting-free day once a week to allow dedicated time to power through important projects. A one-hour coffee meeting can take you out of commission for up to three hours if you include travel time. If you do that every day of the week, it’s incredible how much time is wasted. Instead, try to book all of those meetings over one or two days. Reoccurring appointments are also helpful reminders of monthly invoicing and reports.
2. Content planning. Take an hour a month and plan your business content for the next several weeks. How many blog posts do you need? What will the topics be? Social media can also be planned the same way by taking a look for key dates (e.g. International Women’s Day) that are important for your business to reference. Develop some advance content so you have the photo or video clip ready to post on the right day.
3. Don’t overcommit. When you’re building a business, it’s so easy to say “yes” to everything. Not only is that not strategic, but it’s not effective. Taking on 25 small projects means you don’t have time for a large opportunity that may come along. Find a balance between the size and scope of your work. If that means saying “no” to something that won’t serve you or your business well, that is okay.
It takes time to establish a routine but with focus and patience you will find a rhythm that allows you to be strategic and effective with your business.
And if you need to re-establish your communications strategy, check out our September resolutions blog for a few reminders.