How communications professionals can do more with less

It’s 9am and you’ve already read the news, tracked social media mentions, checked Google Analytics and cleared some of your overnight emails.

Your director has piled another task on your teetering workload. Then a crisis hits and you know you’re never going to get to the stuff you need to.

That’s the typical day of many of our comms friends. It’s tough.

How to do more with less time

At Articulous we run a counter corporate culture environment.

We try to test new processes and reject doing things the way they’ve always been done.

We do this to increase productivity, improve focus and avoid the typical-consultancy approach of having to multitask.

And we do it to lower the cost for clients.

Here are some tips to help do more with less:

  1. Chunk similar tasks together – write multiple blogs in one chunk of time. Batch phone calls.
  2. Don’t write social media posts just because you like them. Write what you know will get read – spend time to do the research first then write. Know what your network is talking about. Know what SEO terms you need.
  3. Abandon unnecessary meetings – everyone complains about being in endless meetings so if they’re not necessary don’t do them. And when you do have meetings, don’t just talk about work you’ll do after the meeting. Do it in the meeting. Plus write all meeting reports in the meeting. Don’t double handle anything.
  4. Get ahead in slow times. It might be Friday after lunch. You know your brain is fried so save up the boring stuff till then.
  5. Make phone calls. Yes, phones aren’t just for emails and for social media posts. Rather than sending a string of emails back and forth, do it in one call.
  6. Use technology. Find the best tools that work for you to speed up or automate tasks, ones that can aggregate information, create reading lists, monitor issues for now or later.
  7. Provide senior people. The hidden costs of using more junior people are endless including the cost of internal briefing (that’s twice the cost of the briefing time because clients pay for the two people to talk), the cost of internal reviews and edits (sometimes this can double costs of material production), the cost of substandard work needing to be reworked, the cost of getting something wrong and then losing the opportunity (with media, the public or stakeholders).
  8. Know your numbers – get friendly with data. It tells you in tangible ways what’s working and what’s not. It helps guide you about where to spend time. In engagement we track how our responses are going on a daily or weekly basis.
  9. Use collaborative online tools to connect staff and clients.
  10. And most importantly … Get out from behind the desk. It’s sometimes the most unproductive place to work. If you don’t need to be in the office, don’t. If you need a quiet space, steal someone’s office. Or change location. Research shows creativity in some people can only occur when you free your mind so get out, walk, listen to music.