3 Lessons in: Staying Organized

By Vanessa Boynton

Welcome to Lessons in PR, an ongoing series of public relations tips and advice from the professionals at Matter Communications. Have your own tip to submit? Respond in the comments or email vboynton@matternow.com.

One of the most enticing and exhausting aspects of the PR industry is: variety. Unless you work with an in-house team (and sometimes even then), you’ll be exposed to astounding assortment of perspectives, specialties, products, goals, trends, publications, and more. We learn more about more stuff than we ever dreamed we would, and almost all of it was due yesterday. As a result, simply maintaining a coherent to-do list is a challenge all its own. Here are some of the things that work in our favor for staying organized:

1. Work the Primary Colors. “When juggling five clients across five different industries, it’s important to stay organized and on top of various deadlines, media opportunities, new coverage, etc. I find that color coded lists have become my holy grail – everything from to-do lists to pending coverage lists.” – Caitlin Snider, Assistant Account Executive

2. Learn to Love Deadlines. “Don’t wait for the last minute to be proactive, but if you need the pressure of a deadline to kick it into gear, assign self-imposed deadlines so you don’t start falling behind. With so many daily tasks both big and small, you don’t want to show up to your next meeting empty-handed or unprepared.” – Tim Hamilton, Assistant Account Executive

3. Remember What We Are When You ‘Assume’. “When working a media event, pitching a reporter, or communicating with a client, never assume – not even about the smallest detail. Over-communication and verifying understanding will prepare you for what’s coming and save you from embarrassing inaccuracies and mistakes.” – Kate McCary, Senior Account Executive