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I’ve been reading Henry Mintzberg’s book, “Managing.” As expected, it’s superb.

It’s got me thinking about the things I do each day to run my PR shop. Needless to say, I’ve lots to learn and improve on, but there are a few things that seem to be going right.

Based on what seems to be working for me, here are 4 tips for other Comms managers out there. I sincerely hope that you’ll do me the favour of adding to these in the comments.

  1. Make like the profession…COMMUNICATE. Managers of anything are basically information gatherers and disseminaters. As communications pros we are – theoretically – we positioned to communicate frequently and with clarity. Make sure you use your formidable comms skills on internal – as well as external – audiences.
  2. Go against your Flakian nature: minimize multi-tasking! PR people are constantly doing many things at once. It can be done. For most humans, though, it is a shitty way to work. The smart phone – now part of the standard PR kit – makes you think you can do 6 things at once. Try not to. You’ll see results. Promise.
  3. Turn off notifications if you can, and schedule time for checking email/social media. If you check Twitter, email, etc everytime you get pinged, you WILL go insane (and the road to insanity will be unproductive). Most of us, including yours truly, check stuff oh so frequently. Most of the time, this is unnecessary. Managerial work is characterized by a frenetic pace and staggering amounts of interruptions (if you can get 30 mins uninterrupted in a day as a manager you are doing GREAT). Why let email and social contribute to the problem?
  4. Make sure you institutionalize learning about new tools. While the digital universe has not fundamentally changed the basics of PR, it has quickened the speed of things and changed the skill set slightly. Your team needs to be up on the myriad of new digital tools that are constantly emerging. Whether through official policy, informal sharing of content or some mix of both, PR managers need to ensure their people are constantly curious. There a tonne of great resources about tools out there. Follow them and share them with your people.

 That’s it for me. Managers, what helps you run your PR team?

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