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Hacks to Outreach, Ideate, and Manage Your Time Smartly in a Fast-Paced Agency

Published: 08/10/21 - Updated: 25/06/24

Hacks to Outreach, Ideate, and Manage Your Time Smartly in a Fast-Paced Agency

The world of PR is fast-paced and ever-changing and can often be overwhelming, especially when working in an agency. So our Senior Digital PR manager here at Kaizen, Marina Plummer, shared her tips on managing the many elements behind digital PR life at last week’s Digitaloft online event ‘The Digital PR Summit’ and here’s a recap. 

In digital PR, as Marina mentioned, ‘we wear a lot of hats’, but this is what’s so exciting about agency life. From outreach to ideations, copywriting to admin, there are no opportunities to become bored. 

But with this busy schedule and balancing act, it is crucial to remain organised. Otherwise, how would you get it all done without feeling overwhelmed? 

Marina shares her top tips to help you successfully cut out over time and power through that to-do list. It all begins with time management, your ultimate weapon to productivity and success. 

9 Tips to Staying On Top of Outreach 

Tip 1: Invest time 

Don’t be afraid to invest an extra half an hour into creating a strong email template to stand out in journalists’ inboxes; this is much more likely to see success than a rushed email template that you’re endlessly outreaching for weeks and getting nowhere. 

Tip 2: Time management

It’s a no-brainer. An extra 20 minutes managing your time will save you countless hours and days of wasted time and lost contacts. 

Tip 3: Ask your team

Something we utilise here at Kaizen is testing our headlines on Slack. Ask your colleagues: ‘What headline would you click on if you were a journalist?’ This way, you get a high volume of responses quickly.

Tip 4: Quote banks 

Create a quote bank, a list of comments from your expert that have been pre-approved by your client this will enable you to speed up the outreach process in both writing and responding to reactive PR opportunities.

Tip 5: Next step meetings 

If you have a campaign that isn’t driving any success, take action. What’s going wrong? At Kaizen, we hold next step meetings where our wider team who haven’t yet been involved in the campaign can give their perspective and, hopefully, inject new life into the campaign. 

Tip 6: Momentum and enthusiasm 

Always ask your team how they feel about the campaigns that they are outreaching. Switching things around could be helpful and necessary, and give a fresh perspective and enthusiasm on the campaign. 

Tip 7: Invest your time 

Bigger clients with multiple campaigns in outreach may require weekly internal check-ins of just 5 minute 1-2-1s discussing angles and contacts. This will set realistic deadlines so you can manage client expectations and clear goals of what the outreacher needs to accomplish each week.

Tip 8: Personalisation

Interestingly, Marina spoke of personalising emails perhaps being a time-consuming task with little rewards. Journalists care about the great story – don’t sweat the small stuff, and make the story the focus of your email. 

Tip 9: Stop wasting time

If you’ve tried everything, sometimes the best thing you can do is call it a day. 

3 Ideation Tips

Having productive ideations are so important in creating a successful digital PR campaign. Even if you’re not in your most creative zone, Marina shares her tips to utilise your time and produce great campaigns. 

Tip 1: Express ideations 

1-hour ideations can drain creativity and have the opposite desired effect. Boost moods and make ideations 30-45 minutes; this will save time and creative headspace, limiting time-wasting, which we hate in agency life. 

Tip 2: Understand how people work best 

We ran a survey with our digital PR team, and turns out that only 10% of us felt most creative in ideation. So don’t be afraid to be flexible, brief your team with the client and campaign requirements and give them 24-48 hours to do their own research. This way when you all get together for your ideation, you’ll see the magic happen. 

Tip 3: Know your trends 

Being aware of current media trends helps you save time when you are ideating and outreaching. Understanding why journalists are covering certain topics can help you outline your angle to make your story more appealing. 

For more tips on ideations and staying creative: see here 

4 Personal Management Tips

Tip 1: Inbox 0

My personal favourite tip and a goal I’m working towards from Marina’s talk is Inbox 0; meaning your inbox is literally empty, you’ve dealt with all your emails and are waiting for new ones to fly in. Marina asked the Kaizen team how often we check our emails, and it averaged around 20 times a day. The professional average is 15 times, spending around 28% of their working day on emails – which is A LOT when there’s real work to complete. 

Tip 1.1: Archive

If it’s not important, get rid.

Tip 1.2: The two-minute rule

If you can reply within two minutes, reply and get it out of your inbox and headspace, but if it takes any longer than that, wait until you have the time to reply to all larger emails at once.  

Tip 1.3: Snoozing 

If there is no action required today, get it out of your main inbox and come back to it.

Tip 1.4: Create folders

Create folders for each client, project etc. So emails you can’t archive, get stored in their related folder and are easy to find.

Tip 2: Delegation and TeamWork 

Marina goes on further to highlight the importance of training and delegating within your team. Doing everything yourself will burn you out, and making people accountable will increase their skill set, making them work at a quicker and higher standard in the long run. 

Tip 3: Communication

Crucially don’t forget to communicate with your team. Remember, you’re not alone. Agency life is about getting stuck in and helping each other. 

Do you think you’re made for agency life? Check out our current vacancies.

Juliet Anderson Digital PR Executive
Juliet Anderson

Juliet Anderson joined as an intern in 2021 and has progressed into a full-time Digital PR Executive role, working on outreach and strategy for a range of our insurance, travel and retail clients.

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