Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Cleaning Tips for Your PR Program

In Pittsburgh you wouldn’t know it by the weather but it’s Spring!  One of the most common annual activities in most households this time of year is to get started on those Spring cleaning projects so that you can more peacefully enjoy the summer months.

Have you ever considered Spring cleaning for your PR program?  That’s right.  Spring cleaning.  It’s not that hard, but it does require taking time out of the day-to-day grind to restore order to the process.  Here are four Spring cleaning tips for your PR program:

1.                   Revisit Your Plan – Take stock of the plan you created at the start of the year. Review your progress against goals and reprioritize so that those items that fell to the bottom of the list are addressed between now and the end of the year.
2.                   Eliminate Distractions – Because distractions can range from the clutter in your office, to the daily routine you’ve established, the process for eliminating distractions can cast a very wide net.  However, to help you focus, it’s good to clean up your physical space. File materials you don’t need in your day-to-day routine.  Throw away things you haven’t used in a while. Still have a Bacon’s Directory from 2005 on the shelf? Get rid of it.  At the same time, take a look at your calendar. Perhaps log your day for about a week to see which activities suck the most time from your work.  Rethink your time management and start fresh. Those are just two sources of possible distraction.
3.                   Rethink Your Tactics – Do you travel to meetings instead of use video conference or teleconference?  Is that necessary?  Do you have piles of printed brochures when most people want electronic versions?  Have you analyzed the time and resources you’re allocating to that old newsletter that could be better spent elsewhere?  Now may be a good time to assess whether everything in your plan is worth doing the way you’ve always done it.
4.                   Consider Research – One way to reassess everything you’re doing is to do attitude research.  This can be done through focus groups, surveys and other means.  In the end, you’ll have a better picture of what’s working, what isn’t and perhaps some ideas and strategies you haven’t been using.

Spring is a great time for cleaning and to give your PR program a fresh start.

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Shooting Star

One of the most avid readers of this blog was a good friend of mine who not infrequently sent me notes after she read it, providing additional insights or just sending positive reinforcement.

There have been times that I alluded to her in blog posts about projects where she and I worked together.  One time, I wrote a whole blog post about my own need to send “thank you” notes more often, and without mentioning my friend’s name, I described her habits in this area as something I sought to emulate.

Not surprisingly, she followed up with a “thank you” for noticing her good habits, and for not mentioning her by name. 

My friend was a very accomplished PR person.  She and I worked together on crises and major projects. We shared many a laugh with associates and with our families as well.  And in every situation – every situation – she never lost her even keel.

Always gracious, always polite, always very smart and always a model of class.  She was how we all would like to be, good at what she did and good at making it all look easy.

This morning we got the news that Debbie left us after a long battle with breast cancer.  She will be missed, but her impact will continue to be felt by those she touched.