Recently I published a re-curated list of not very technical things that every PR should know and thought that it maybe worthwhile how to do some fo the items, since the original list has had such an enduring popularity on this blog. When I started in PR, email was starting to come into its own. People who entered the business just 12 months before me talk of having one email account for the whole business and only checking it once a week.
Until I got a job down in London, I used to write all my emails on my Mac PowerBook laptop. Take the computer over to a cyber café on Castle Street near James Street station in Liverpool city centre. I would then cut and paste the copy of my emails across into my Yahoo! account and read any incoming mail that I received. Which wasn’t a lot as most companies still either requested you attend an interview or sent you a ‘dear John’ letter via the post. This meant that when I started off sending email, I had a scarcity:
- A scarcity of emails to manage
- A scarcity of space, at this time free email accounts exceptionally small
Over time things became different. I evolved an approach to dealing with mail which I’ll share with you here, but that doesn’t mean to say that it may be right for you. I know that Drew Benvie and others set a lot of store by GTD (Getting Things Done) as part of a wider approach to task management. It isn’t my cup of tea, but that shouldn’t put you off exploring it.
Here’s my take:
- Try to keep news updates out of your inbox, I use updates via RSS Bloglines and funnel in everything through RSS feeds. I arrange everything in folders to do my work reading at work and everything else at home
- Email is organised by subject or client folders. For regular emails, you can use rules to do the filing for you
- I try and check into my email account four times a day, otherwise it becomes a time suck
- I use a multi-client IM service which puts MSN, AOL Messenger etc all in one place using Adium, you have do this via the web then Meebo is a very good option
- If you have to manage multiple twitter feeds I can recommend Nambu for the Mac
- If you need to publish to one account on multiple platforms ping.fm is my weapon of choice. Once you have it set up a simple email does the trick
What’s your tips for managing your communications platform?
Posts in this series
This was the post that started it all: 29 not-very-technical things that every PR person should know