If the public relations profession were a treadmill, my personal experience would dictate that the treadmill is almost always on a steady jog with sprint and hill training being a constant throughout the day.
December and the weeks leading up to year-end are usually no different. And if you represent clients in retail or consumer electronics for example—CES happens in early-January—the last month of the year can be exhausting.
But every so often there is a holiday lull. Perhaps you have delivered a 2015 plan but your client simply cannot review it before January. Other times an annual project has wrapped and your team has already completed a stellar recap report.
As a PR pro, I live for these moments because there are so many catch-up tasks that I love to work on when time allows. Here are my tips for how to maximize a rare quiet PR moment if and when it comes your way this month:
- Read. Yes, I am sheepishly looking at my growing stack of industry and trade magazines just like you are. Google Alerts and e-newsletters are nice stopgaps from week-to-week but there is nothing better than pouring over hard copies of magazines for new ideas and inspiration as we head into the New Year.
- Clean. Speaking of Google Alerts, when was the last time you conducted a quick audit of the terms you’re tracking and feeds you’re subscribed to for clients? Do your inbox a favor and delete irrelevant alerts and be sure to sign up for new reads based on recent client wins or emerging competitors in existing clients’ space.
- Network. Remember all of those coffee meetings you’ve been meaning to schedule? Get them on the calendar. I find that people love a break from their desks this time of year and you never know when a simple latte may lead to new business or great partnerships!
- Research. The media list you created at the beginning of the year, and probably even last quarter, is outdated. Editors and reporters are moving around faster than ever.
- Say Thanks. Don’t you feel great when a client or vendor sends you a thank you note for your work at the end of the year? Editors and reporters feel the same. You don’t need to do anything over the top—a quick email will do. But let the people who you worked so hard with in 2014 know that you appreciate their writing, attention and consideration of your clients.
How do you make the most of a spare PR second?
Alexis Anderson is a senior communications director who may have a clean email inbox, but she definitely needs to pour a hot cup of coffee and dig in on some of her favorite industry reads piling up on her desk before the end of the year.