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  • Using GTD to Manage Public Relations Activities

    I've been working to implement GTD for about 3 years now. One area I can't seem to get my brain around is how to use GTD to plan PR activities and I'd love some advice:

    I'm a marketing consultant and PR has become a significant part of my workload. Actions include:
    1. Looking at dozens of local/national media's editorial calendars and seeing if there's a story idea for one of my clients I can pitch to them.
    2. Identifying and following (twitter, google alert, etc) reporters that may be interested in writing a story. (This process basically becomes a consultative sale where I keep an eye out for articles/info they might like and feed it to them on a consistent basis, develop a relationship, etc.)
    3. Sending targeted pitches and following up.

    Most of the national magazines work 3 to 4 months out so I have to think of the pitches way ahead of time.

    The #1 on my list I can figure out - just put it in my weekly review to review edit calendars that are 4 months out. Do you think I should put every edit calendar for every client all in one file or one spreadsheet? I often 'forget' important upcoming dates currently.

    #2 is where I'm confused on how to use GTD. A lot of this occurs ad hoc - I see an article and then email it to a targeted reporter, or read another article and come up with a pitch - but all these activities feel really off the cuff, sporadic, not well-tracked, and I'm only focusing on what has my attention at the moment rather than a well-organized approach. (plus, I'm missing a lot of opportunities).

    Thanks in advance for your help. I read this forum regularly and you all have such amazing insight - thanks!

  • #2
    Just a comment

    Originally posted by jennytg3 View Post
    #2 is where I'm confused on how to use GTD. A lot of this occurs ad hoc - I see an article and then email it to a targeted reporter, or read another article and come up with a pitch - but all these activities feel really off the cuff, sporadic, not well-tracked, and I'm only focusing on what has my attention at the moment rather than a well-organized approach. (plus, I'm missing a lot of opportunities).
    A classic case for GTD, I suppose. Many thoughts about work come to us not when we are at work. Capturing as they come and regular processing are the basic keys to handle them. As you capture them, you solve the "not well-tracked" problem, and as these things find place in your system which is regularly reviewed, the attention will be balanced.

    Just a comment on the quoted paragraph; not exactly an answer.

    Regards,
    Abhay

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    • #3
      I would approach #2 as a project -- something like "Improve reconnaissance on writers". Then take it through the Natural Planning Model for projects, paying particular attention to the Outcome/Visioning stage and the Brainstorming stage.

      Now that I think of it, I don't think I've seen a Project Brainstorming Trigger List around in a GTD context, but it sounds like a good idea. Better put that in my Inbox...

      If you want to run through the Model for this project publicly, I think the community here would be happy to see it and offer whatever support they can.



      Cheers,
      Roger

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      • #4
        For #2, I've been on the reporting side of the relationship, and I can tell you that the most effective PR folks I've dealt with are the ones who maintain regular contact. (However, a press release is not contact. It's junk mail.) The least effective are the ones who only call when there's a tradeshow coming up, and the ones who bombard me with too many irrelevant press releases. So you've definitely got the right idea.

        In GTD terms, I would suggest:
        1) Make a regular call, just to chat. Tell the reporter what your clients are working on, ask the reporter what they are looking for. Talk about your cats, their ski vacation, whatever you have in common. Maintain the fiction that you are actually interested in them as a person, not just a source of ink. Monthly is probably too often for this call, every six months is not often enough. Quarterly, maybe? Put it in your tickler file.
        2) Keep an @Agenda sheet for the reporter. Add to it as you have ideas that are relevant. Review it at least monthly, probably weekly, and make contact whenever the list is long enough. Send off an email for small ideas, call for big ideas. Don't be a pest: be very very selective about what you pass along. Keep a reference file with each reporter's interests, and review it regularly.
        3) Be equally rigorous about managing the relationship with your clients. Just because your client thinks something is newsworthy, that doesn't mean it actually is. You'll add enormous value to both sides if you only pitch reporters when you have real news for them.

        Feel free to PM me if you'd like to get into more specific detail.

        Katherine

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