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Punctuality in the PR Realm

Credit: Djim Loic / Unsplash

“Better three hours too soon, than one minute too late.” – William Shakespeare

Shakespeare regarded people’s time to be this important two centuries before the wristwatch was even popularized, so what’s our excuse?

Today we’re surrounded by clocks, yet many still struggle with being on time whether in person or with project deadlines. While it may not always be appropriate to show up or submit something three hours early, it is rarely appropriate to be one minute late, specifically in the communication realm.

Being on time is a matter of respect. It reflects that one doesn’t just respect their own time but those around them, who may very well be on the strictest of deadlines, as well.

In the communication world – whether collaborating with fellow PR counterparts or journalists – punctuality is vital. In many instances, a missed deadline can equate to a missed opportunity, whether it be a community partnership or feature article.

For some who struggle with punctuality, the issue isn’t the ability to tell time. It can be a result of an overbooked schedule or failure to realistically juggle several priorities.

Here are some pointers on being punctual to keep your PR machine running smoothly:

Clarify everything. Whether it’s a project deadline or a meeting, it is always crucial to confirm dates and times. A simple email with, “When did you need this by?” or “Can we confirm the meeting time?” are all it takes. Projects stack up, meeting schedules get crazy and busy season is upon everyone. Don’t do yourself a disservice by taking a wild shot in the dark about what time that important earnings meeting starts. Confirm ahead and be prepared instead.

Don’t do it alone. Utilize all the tools in your arsenal. Whether you’re a calendar reminder person, a Post-it on your computer person or a set an alarm for everything person, there’s no need to remember everything on your own.

Things get missed when people try to do everything themselves or keep all the information in their head so putting it down somewhere can be an excellent reminder. You can get a special thrill out of making to-do lists and crossing off the items as they get done.

Plan ahead. This one cannot be stressed enough. We’ve all heard it a million times, don’t procrastinate, but this is also easier said than done. It can be easy to get overwhelmed when taking on additional projects and deciphering what should be done first so planning is crucial to staying organized. After you’ve chosen your preferred tool to keep track of time use it to lay out everything on the schedule. This way you can visually see everything and prioritize the most urgent projects and meetings.

Communicate. Your word is your bond. If you say you’re going to be somewhere or submit something by a specific time, get it done. If there are extenuating circumstances preventing this than communicate to that person that there’s an issue and work to reschedule. People understand that life happens but they don’t understand someone leaving them hanging. People are also more understanding of mishaps when you have a reputation of being consistent with your time. Being good on your word and communicating goes a long way when building trust and expanding relationships.

Time flies when you’re working hard and the news doesn’t wait. Contact The Firm Public Relations & Marketing to help keep your PR strategy moving and punctual. Give us a shout at newbusiness@thefirmpr.com or 702.739.9933. 

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Our business is complex; focused on delivering payment solutions to ten different segments within Gaming and Entertainment. We needed a PR firm that could handle that complexity, understand our business needs and represent us to the media in our target markets. The Firm has delivered on their promises. After more than four years of working together, we remain very pleased.

Joe FeldkampFormer VP, Strategic Market DevelopmentWorldpay Gaming