In praise of prioritisation 

It’s a badge of honour, it seems, to tell everyone how busy you are. How often do you hear people saying that their workload is “manageable, thanks”?

In PR and communications, it’s common to suffer from heavy workloads. Last year, a PR Week survey found that 49% of respondents felt under more stress than in the previous year, with increased demand and workload being cited as the reasons.

So how do you select what to do and what to leave? The trick is to know where your effort will have the most impact. Assessing an activity by how much of a risk or opportunity it poses to the organisation’s reputation is an easy way of prioritising. Even better is to know your corporate aims and understand how communications can support them.

Ideally, you’ll have an effective communications strategy in place, based on good research, with the key actions planned and agreed. Doing the thinking up front will means you’ll be confident about what will work and what won’t, and it may prevent you from having to make rushed decisions on the go. A bit of planning doesn’t mean you’ll miss opportunities – in fact, it will make them easier to identify and create them.

Communications work is labour-intensive – it’s easy to underestimate the amount of time it takes to edit a video or write a good news release. As Winston Churchill once famously said, “I’m sorry to have made such a long speech but I didn’t have time to write a shorter one”. You can always do more. But no organisation has an endless amount of time and money, and a little strategic thinking can go a long way to making sure you spend your precious resources in the best way possible.

If you’re interested in smartening up your communications strategy, why not contact Hough Bellis – we’d be happy to help.


Sue Fox