How to Prioritize When You Are a PR Team of One

December 1, 2015 Max Bergen

One_Man_Band_v2.jpg“I’ve got too much time on my hands,” said no PR pro, ever. If there’s one thing that modern PR folks aren’t, it’s bored. There are so many ways to share the story of your brand with the public that it’s unlikely you’ll ever run out of stuff to do, especially if you are a one person band. It can be very difficult to decide which tasks to tackle in what order. When there is more to do than there are hours in the day, the keys become focus and prioritization. Here are a few tips to making the best decisions about what to do when.

Have Clear Goals

I’m not sure he meant to give business advice when Louis Carol wrote Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in 1865, but this exchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat is nonetheless instructive.

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t much care where.” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

The cat has a point. It seems that the most important thing about getting where you want to be is knowing where you want to be. Without that, tactics are trivial. It is simply impossible to make good decisions about how to spend your valuable time on PR activities if you don’t know exactly what you wish to accomplish by doing PR. Before you write a press release or send a pitch to a reporter, make sure you understand your goals and how you will measure success. If you have an awesome month, quarter or year, what does that look like? Have you increased website traffic, generated more leads, contributed to revenue, expanded your audience or something else?

Study What Works

Once you understand your goals, you can analyze the results of past PR activities to determine exactly which ones have moved the needle on the objectives that you care about. Measurement and analysis are often put on the back burner when solo PR teams are running as fast as they can to just get “stuff” done. This is a major mistake. Without careful tracking of the impact of your activities, it is unlikely that you’ll be doing the most valuable “stuff.”

Look for Golden Opportunities

It is far better to send the perfect pitch to just the right media contact than to send 100 pitches to 100 contacts. If you are shouldering the PR responsibility alone, you need to keep your eyes open for those few and far between chances to get a big impact from a small amount of effort. This means active monitoring for a good fit between the particular interest of a reporter or influencer and the story of your brand. Of course, given the complex media landscape and your limited bandwidth, you’ll need PR technology designed to alert you when the best opportunities arise.

I hate to use a cliché, but the bottom line is that if your PR team is made up of you, the prime directive is to work smarter, not harder. You’ll need tight alignment between your activities and your goals along with precision measurement of results to make the best choice of how to spend your most scarce resource, your time.

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