A PR girl’s desk essentials
Working in the PR industry, there are days when you are just simply stuck to your desk. The minute you try to slide away for your next caffeine fix is when you get that email that demands an instant reply or the moment you can run to prêt for a way-past-lunch lunch is when your mobile lights up with a client you have been trying to get hold of since 9am. It’s no secret being a PR girl entails long hours, with your office desk quickly becoming your home away from home and every day you find yourself humming ‘just another manic Monday’ even though it’s Thursday. It’s vital to curate a workspace that perfectly complements you and your needs during the hectic workweek. A well known piece of PR 101: Preparation is key! Here are five essentials that you should have handy at your desk when perfecting your press releases, pitching to the media and cranking out media research and yes, you guessed it, it starts with coffee!
Hydration: A bucket of coffee and a bottle of water
Because a Starbucks is always necessary first thing in the morning and a great way to keep your energy levels high in the afternoon without crashing (and doesn’t make you jittery) and water because it’s essential for us ladies to keep hydrated. Keeping a water bottle at your desk and your precious coffee cup next to your computer is the perfect way to stay energized and focused during the day without getting caught up and distracted by a caffeine craving or dehydration. Be sure to share with your coworkers!
A 2014 AP Stylebook: A PR Girl’s “Bible”
When it comes down to it, we eat, sleep and breathe AP Style in the media. Keeping this year’s edition of the AP Stylebook nearby will reduce second-round edits on press releases and media alerts, allowing you to feel confident and secure in your writing. What’s even better? This year’s edition features an entire section of fashion terms that will absolutely come in handy for your boutique client.
Media Address List: Ultimate time saver
Although media outlet search tools like Cision are a lifesaver for PR pros, keeping a go-to list of media outlets that you have established a relationship with taped to your desk, will allow for easy access in a pinch. Need to book a last-minute segment on a morning show for a client? Your go-to broadcast contact should be on this list. Add names, emails and phone numbers on a rolling basis as you foster more relationships with local and national media, and you’ll be amazed at how much time it saves you.
A Desk Calendar: Key to organization
Remember those huge desk calendars that your mom always used to schedule after-school practices, doctor’s appointments and dinner that you never thought you’d need? Think again. Invest in a large desk calendar to keep track of upcoming deadlines, projects, events and meetings. Putting a reminder in your phone is a great way to keep track of upcoming deadlines, but putting it down on paper will never be a thing of the past. Being able to visualize what’s on your plate for the week will make prioritizing projects easier, and you’ll be able to pencil in upcoming client events with ease.
A Happiness Folder: Because everyone needs a lift now and then
This one is non-negotiable, ladies. When the going gets tough in PR, it can be hard to power through and take unsatisfactory client feedback on a press release or campaign that you slaved over. Keep a folder full of emails from your boss or clients thanking you for doing a job or loving that great idea that you had on your desktop – you never know when you may need a timely reminder as to how great you truly are.
By: Lindsay Shoemake
Lindsay Shoemake is the founder and editor of career-lifestyle blog That Working Girl, which aims to inspire women toward success in the PR, advertising and media realm. When she’s not working, you can find Lindsay exploring her neighborhood, the Virginia-Highlands, in Atlanta and catching up with friends over a great cup of coffee.