We let the facts do the talking.


Part 1: The power of the to-do list

When I first entered the PR world, I felt like a tiny boat being tossed around on a roiling ocean of non-stop emails, ever-changing deadlines, proliferating media channels and multiplying tasks that always seemed to be escaping me. This can cause a fair amount of stress, and if you are in the throes of PR anxiety, I fully sympathise.

But for everyone feeling battered by press releases and drowned in admin, panic not, because help is at hand. There is a tool so easy and simple that it’s easily forgotten, but it has the power to save you from going under by structuring your day like never before. It’s the to-do list.

With so many activities taking place simultaneously, PR professionals are expected to be superhuman multitaskers, but there is simply no way to structure such complex work in your head. Relying on your memory for even a day will lead to tasks overlooked, phone calls missed and meetings forgotten about. Give your brain a break and treat your to-do list like your helper.

Compiling my to-do list is the very first thing I do in the morning, and so must you! My days, weeks and months absolutely revolve around it. I prefer the old pen and paper approach myself, but if you are digitally minded then Excel or even Word can make excellent notepads.

The main rule is that absolutely everything should go on your to-do list – from planned activities to snatched feedback from your colleagues and ideas that pop into your head – because keeping track of your work is essential. My to-do list is ordered like this:

  • Top priority tasks that must be completed as rapidly as possible
  • Tasks to be finished within the day
  • Upcoming tasks in their order of urgency
  • A box for research to be completed
  • A box for people to follow-up with including colleagues, clients or members of the media
  • Lots of notes scribbled down in the margins about just about everything

In my next blog, I will elaborate on how to put your to-do list into action…

Joyce Mourad is the Account Executive of Cicero & Bernay Public Relations. An independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai and offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the GCC. |