We hear a lot about routines. CEOs waking up at 5 a.m. and meditating. Executives journaling for the first 20 minutes of their day. And while some mornings I get up early and workout and drink lemon water, other mornings I sleep later and barely throw on leggings. It’s called balance. Even if you don’t get things accomplished first thing, there is a whole day (and week) ahead of you to tackle your to-dos. But in addition to these things to do for your health and wellbeing, there are also things you should add to your professional routine to set you up for success. Here are five things every PR pro should incorporate into their weekly routine.
Read the General News
My first PR professor (who I am still in touch with today!) used to give us pop quizzes periodically, asking us what was going on in the news. As someone who was like 19 years old, I had no clue what was happening and honestly didn’t have any interest. But she instilled in us that knowing what was going on in the world would matter in our career. And it does. And this is even more true today.
An essential skill PR pros should have is newsjacking. How can you jack the news if you don’t know what it is? When I used to commute (and now working from home) I listen to morning news (via Alexa or Spotify) and get a rundown that way, and I put on Good Morning America as well. And then I also get news from the daily newsletters I read. I cannot possibly consume everything, but these are a good way to get a gist of what’s happening while I am getting ready. And this is essential to daily. Not to mention, if you run social media for a brand and something is breaking and it’s not appropriate to post, this is a good way to see what’s happening before the day starts and posts go live so you can adjust accordingly. This goes for pitching, too – when something heavy is breaking, I know journalists are busy with that so I pause.
I know, I always talk about Twitter 🙂 But it’s essential. I am not even advocating you have to do this every day, but a few times a week take a skim of what journalists are writing about and people are saying here. This not only gives you news, but trending topics which is essential to help craft upcoming pitches or social media content. If you have Twitter lists built, this is even better, as it cuts through the clutter so you can get to what matters.
Engage in Facebook Groups
Speaking of cutting through the clutter. Facebook is a lot of clutter these days with weird family acquaintances and old high school friends posting their expert opinions on everything from COVID vaccines to the crisis in Ukraine to now, aviation safety from watching a Netflix documentary on Boeing. Bunch of experts there! But in all seriousness, I really like Facebook for the group function. I am a member of several groups where I connect with fellow PR pros (Michael Smart’s Facebook group is second to none) as well as journalists. This is a great way to not only connect but learn new things. Huge fan of Facebook groups.
Read Industry News
This is a little redundant with the above, but it’s important to not only understand the media broadly but also your industry. This not only includes the PR industry – but the industry your clients serve. I have had clients in a plethora of industries and used to read things like HVAC News. Understanding what is happening in those industries specifically is so important. And with so many newsletters today, it’s easy to subscribe and skim every morning. And this is also essential to understand things like best practices and how things are evolving, like measurement.
Engage with Media
If you do any type of media relations, engaging with media should be something you do at least weekly. And this again is easy to do within Twitter and Facebook groups. I am not saying to email a journalist for the sake of emailing them (they would hate that!) but I mean things like sharing articles they’ve written on social media and tagging them. You can do this through LinkedIn and Twitter. Tagging them and the outlet helps them see you and show that you are helping them to get eyeballs, which is key. Or, it can be so simple, like commenting on a social post or simply giving it a like. Focusing your time on them should be something you do weekly or even less often depending on how much media relations you are doing. But building relationships take time. And this should definitely be part of your ongoing routine.
What are some of the things every PR pro should incorporate into their weekly routine that I didn’t mention?