Are you in the office today? I am. Typically the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is a slow, quiet one for most industries, Public Relations included. Many colleagues, clients and members of the media are out of the office. Because of this, most companies don’t issue news or have anything too major going on.
Note that typically is the key word here. For me, I had acquisition news to pitch yesterday and several meetings to attend. As I was speaking with Mass High Tech Associate Editor Don Seiffert about my client’s news, we came to the conclusion that this week wasn’t such a “slow news week” for either of us.
Regardless, both this week and next week are less busy than most. With many people out of the office next Monday and Tuesday, here are a few things I think PR professionals can cross off their to-do lists by January 4th, while their inboxes aren’t being inundated and their phones aren’t ringing off the hooks.
- You rarely have a solid hour or two to get some writing done without interruption. Take the time you have today and early next week to bang out that byline you’ve been putting off, that award submission that has a quickly approaching deadline or write a corporate blog post like I just did.
- Time to kick off those Q1 plans. What new trends can your clients speak to in 2013? Do some research on your own, call a few reporters who actually have a few minutes to chat with you, and meet with your colleagues who are in the office to bounce ideas off one another.
3) Organize your digital life
- This comes in a few stages. The first is your inbox. Clear out and sort what you can. Delete folders, create new folders and search for all of your old “HARO” and “ProfNet” emails and click delete.
- Most of your editorial calendar, speaking, award and coverage trackers are probably kicked off. This is a time to make sure they’re in tip-top shape. Most editorial calendars are out by now, so cross-check your media list and make sure you’ve saved them all and are ready to start pitching these long-lead stories.
- Don’t forget about your desktop. Mine has way too many documents unnecessarily saved there. Time to move some to the server or the trash can and only keep what you really need to access easily and often.
4) Organize your non-digital life
- If your physical desk needs some organizing (like mine does), this is a good time to get it done. Grab some new client folders and notebooks if you need them, toss/recycle anything you no longer need and print out your updated 2013 documents – whether that be your company’s directory or a client media list.
5) Take time for yourself
- You can take time for yourself even if you’re in the office – and I don’t mean going on Facebook all day. Read through the newspapers that get sent to your office – maybe you’ll find a new media contact or trend. Find some new people to follow on Twitter, re-organize your TweetDeck columns, connect with some reporters you’ve worked with on LinkedIn, set a few 2013 career-related resolutions for yourself, or whatever else it is that you’ve been wanting to do but just haven’t had the time.
Personally, I probably won’t be able to accomplish all five of these to-do’s, but I’ll do my best to at least cross a few off by next Friday. Are there other things you can think of that can turn a slow week into an extremely productive week?