Flexible Working for the new PR

Flexible working is a policy that as a PR you need to get your head around. Now, i’m not talking about flexible working hours, that’s quite different. What I am alluding to is the ability to be able to switch from one topic, to something that is a complete antithesis. One hour of this, a couple of hours of that, sometimes working across different clients can bend your mind.

But, then again, all of that time, wthout realising it, you are acquiring knowledge that spans totally different industries, of which most of it may very well come in useful in the future.

I’ve found myself thrust into the middle of working on a client, about whom I knew nothing in an industry I’d left behind after finishing my economics A-Level. Yet, a few days in, I’m getting to grips with the top line and now middle segment of the range of knowledge I need.

In PR, the ability to switch from something like this, to a topic that is completely different, lets say, mobile phones, is vital. To be able to hold in your head 4 or 5 seperate compartments which are all brimming with information, contacts and ideas is quite a skill, and it’s something that improves the more experience you get.

We all have this little challenge, in whatever industry we’re in. Be it education, nursing or accounting, it is something we learn to manage. The trick to it? Well, there isn’t a silver bullet that gets you to this wonderfully foldered place. But here’s three things you can do to get the ball rolling:

Seperation

Keep each client’s notes in a seperate book. This will keep everything together in one place and ensure that you don’t lose that vital phone number or e-mail address because it’s in amongst a myriad of notes from several different clients.

Filter your e-mails

Setup different folders in Outlook, or whatever e-mail programme you use, so that each client has their own. Then setup sub folders for each client activity which may include financials, media relations and client contact, and setup e-mail rules so that each e-mail for each activity goes automatically into the designated folder.

Keep printed material apart

Keep hard copies of presentations, press releases and the like seperate and in their own client folders. This’ll save you time when you’ve got research for a pitch to do and you need to find the client’s brief quickly.

Remember, a lot of organisation is psychological! What else do you do to de-clutter your mind at work?

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