Get Well! Linky Love

Been a bit under the weather this week, but lucky for you there’s still lots of great stuff to share. Enjoy!

Popular Shoe Company Makes Most Offensive Egypt Tweet Yet (Business Insider): Kenneth Cole made a bad, bad choice with this tweet. It’s surprising. For a company who has a focus on social responsibility and human rights – at least that was my perception – this kind of thing makes all the previous good seem inauthentic. Lots of years of good undone in one tweet.

Sizing Us & Them, A Lesson in Transparency from Rich Becker: This post is a great read with some terrific insights about the idea of transparency. This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot, so this post really resonated with some of my own ideas. It’s a little “heavier” than some of the linky love posts that I send your way, but if nothing else, take some time to read it.

My Tweets are My Own is a Bogus Line from Lauren Fernandez: Just because you include a disclaimer, that doesn’t mean that your online content doesn’t reflect back on your employers, academic institutions or even your teammates. Be intentional.

The 46 Stages of Twitter: A fun, tongue-in-cheek look at the adoption cycle on Twitter.

Ten Useful Hacks to Make Things Happen from Valeria Maltoni: Valeria has ten different dilemmas/problems that we can encounter in day-to-day work like, “you miss the big picture,” or “your idea doesn’t get done” and then ten ways to overcome those problems and get things done. Great advice.

Top Six Things to Know for an Interview: Great advice from a new blog by Porter Novelli specifically directed at PR interns and entry level folks. Don’t forget to do your homework!!

There’s No Such Thing as a Social Media Campaign from Adam Vincenzini: I couldn’t agree more.

Is Blogger Outreach the Missing Part of Your PR Plan from Scott Hepburn: I really like this post. I’ve had good success (and lots of fun) working with bloggers. Scott outlines how to make it work for you.

…and because we’re in week 5 and stress is running high, I thought you might enjoy these tips on turning around a bad day and making it a good day (and yes, you can respond to this for your weekly post, J452).

image by Amy the Nurse

My Top 5 Shortcuts: #4 Use a Smartphone

This is a quick tip, but an important one. See tip 1 on feedreaders, 2 on creating a process and 3 on using twitter, too!

If you’re in communications – get a smart phone. For real. It doesn’t have to be an iPhone. Just get a smart phone.

A quick scan of Twitter or Facebook, a timely update to your Tumblr or blog, even being able to handle an urgent situation are all possible from the palm of your hand. Knowing I can “hear” if someone is talking to me (or a client) saves me a ton of time.

It’s also not all about social media specifically, but for generally being productive and saving myself time.

Applications I use to help:

  • Twitter for iPhone
  • Tweetdeck for iPhone (yes, I use 2, I monitor a bunch of accounts)
  • Facebook with all the Pages for which I’m an admin bookmarked.
  • Tumblr for posting photos (this is a personal outlet for me)
  • WordPress (although I rarely use it, I have it set up if I need to)
  • LinkedIn (again, not often used, but you never know!)

Other productivity apps I use:

  • Harvest (my time tracker. If it’s on my phone, I can track my time on the fly.)
  • TeuxDeux (my favorite list maker, to do list builder)
  • Huddle (my project management/coordination program)

Do you have any apps you use to help manage social media (or your life)? I’d love to hear about them!

photo by K!T

Take a Deep Breath. Time to Renew & Recharge.

three people breathing relaxing fresh air

In late September when classes get underway at the University of Oregon, the academic year is full of promise. The possibilities of each course, and each student, seems limitless. I’m organized, focused and excited to try to new things, share new ideas and train the best PR PRos in the business. By the middle of June, I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus. A 9-month-long bus.

Rather than bounding into each week’s classes, what I feel is closer to “clawing.” I don’t love my students any less (well, most of them…), but the weight of the entire year can feel pretty heavy by week 10 of Spring Term.

In academia, the breaks are clear. In June, I am gazing lovingly into the beautiful stream of four months of summer break. Glorious, glorious summer break. But whether you’re in academia or the “real world,” I’ve learned it’s important to take time to renew and recharge. It’s important to take time to breathe, reflect and look forward.

Some tips of my own and a few mixed in with some from the experts at stuff like this:

  • Take some time to brain dump. For me this means writing. Just writing and writing and writing. Get it all out of your noggin and onto paper. I write notes about what I want to change in my routine, what I learned about the classes that I taught, etc.
  • Exercise. Run, do Pilates or try Yoga. I’m a Pilates fan. It’s amazing for helping to clear my mind and put my spine back on straight.
  • Envision the next year. For me, the year is September – June… maybe you’re on a calendar year. Regardless, take some time to plan your year, envision what you want to accomplish. I found this great post about giving yourself an annual review. I think I might try this sometime this summer. I’m also creating a “vision board” (with a little nudge from my biz coach). Have no fear, you’ll hear all about that process, too.
  • Find your own way. You’ll find plenty of ways to organize mental clutter. This post has tons of tips for getting your noggin organized.

How do you best use a transition to prepare for the next “thing” in your life?

photo by LunaDiRimmel

Multi-Tasking is Hard

Busy students and young professionals have to wear a bunch of hats: student, PRSSA member, student-run firm associate, intern, part-time employee, sorority or fraternity leader, son or daughter, friend and the list goes on.

Multi-tasking is hard. It’s easy to get spread too thin and not do a great job on any one thing. You’ll find lots of tips on productivity all over the Internets. Some of my favorite sites are Zen Habits, Dumb Little Man, 43 Folders and Freelance Switch.

I’ve pulled some of my favorite tips from these sites (and my own experience as a master multi-tasker) to share with you.

To start, generally multi-tasking is bad. It takes precious time to shift from task to task (I’ve heard it takes 20 minutes to refocus after an interruption). Minimizing interruptions and creating time and space for each task separately – to the best of your ability – is important. 

And remember, it takes longer than you think it will to do anything.

  1. Recognize each of the roles that you must play and define each. For example, think about the environment that you’re in when doing your “job” as a student. This isn’t just class time, of course, but study time, team time, etc. What do you need to do to be successful in each role? How much time does each take per week?
  2. Schedule time for each task/role/job. If you don’t have a schedule and stick to it, the squeakiest wheel will get the grease. That is to say you’ll pay attention and respond to the task that is right in front of you or the teammate who is demanding a response immediately and not necessarily the most important or highest priority task.
  3. Establish clear goals and objectives for what you want to accomplish in each role and work toward those goals with tasks that you can break down into parts every week. 
  4. Make sure you have the necessary tools to do the job (or have access to the tools). There are a gazillion Web 2.0 tools that can help with task lists and organization, time management and collaboration.  But necessary tools might also mean a clean workspace or a quiet corner of the library.
  5. Focus. Prioritize. Prioritize. Stop Procrastinating.

If you’ve slain the multi-tasking beast and have some tips to share, please! Leave them in the comments.

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