Estimated Time to Read: 2 minutes, 55 seconds [what’s this?]
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Typically, anything offered by our dazzling interns fall under the introductory headline "HCK2 INTERNally," but this title makes it look official, thought leader-esque, official and...did we mention "official"? Take it away, Ashley.)
In the world of PR, we rarely have a moment to catch our breath. Face it, it’s an occupational hazard of ours to always be think on our feet and move accordingly. Although it's an anomaly around here, some agencies experience a “lull” before ramping up for fall. When the stars align and Halley's Comet returns, take time to clean house.
Here are five small projects that can easily be tackled during that “summer lull.” Why? When the craziness of fall hits, you will benefit by being prepped and ready for anything…well almost anything.
1. Clean up - Sort through those contacts, delete old contacts, merge duplicate contact profiles and double-check that contact information is up-to-date. Ever emailed a great pitch to just the right reporter only to discover with one of those rude kickbacks that your contact is a ghost at that media outlet? May want to fix that.
2. Refresh - We all know it is a pain, but it is a necessary evil. Check and make sure all memberships to newspapers, trade magazines and other professional papers are current. Also, cancel any duplicate memberships so you don’t have multiple copies of a random trade publication. (EDITOR'S NOTE: She's right. Just how many copies of Backyard Poultry, Sheep! or Miniature Donkey Talk magazine can you read anyway?)
3. Review - I personally would rather peel my fingernails off with pliers then have to take time to sift through our client’s media lists that aren't updated, however; it is necessary. Start small and set aside time to review each section. You will be surprised at how much has changed and how much needs your attention.
4. Plan - We constantly have to think days, weeks or months in advance for our clients, but that doesn’t mean when we have the time, that we should waste it. If possible, take time to draft up a PR plan that covers goals, objectives, strategies and tactics for your clients. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Of course, if that precious time is thwarted by reviewing what your twice-removed cousin on your mother's side is doing these days in prison via Facebook, we understand. Things happen, right Ashley? Don't worry, we don't judge.)
5. Prioritize - Dust off those crisis plans, pull them out and review with the team. Make sure everything is up to date and pertinent threats to your clients have been assessed. You know it’s time to update a plan if the last time it had been reviewed was in 1990. (EDITOR'S NOTE: I SAID...we don't judge. Regardless what you have found in your research.)
After doing all this: cleaning up, refreshing, reviewing, planning and prioritizing; the phrase “summer lull” seems a bit ironic. These tips might seem like a waste of time but, before we know it the fall rush will be upon us and then it will be too late. You will think back to that blog post you read in July – yep I should have done that – before diving back into piecing a crisis communications plan on the fly.
Have fun with that.