By Amanda Hume
Multitasking has always been something that has come naturally to me. I’ve grown up playing multiple sports, juggling school, two jobs, and a social life. Being involved in various things is something that I enjoy doing, keeps me busy and often have people wondering, “how do you do it?” Sure, there were the times I would come home from a long day and be exhausted or felt overwhelmed getting from one place to another. But when it comes to managing the needs of clients in the world of PR, it tested my ability to handle the array of things that can get thrown in my path. And with this, I want to provide some helpful insights to those that might be fresh out of the “womb” of college like myself, on how to manage multiple clients and their questions, requests, emails…you name it.
This is crucial to meeting client needs. Organization can differ from person to person, but utilizing the best way for you and the client’s needs is crucial. For me, an old-fashioned written list is what keeps me in order. I even create little check boxes for when I finish a task, and can “check” it off my list (we all love that feeling). Most importantly, I always leave room in between each task I write down. Why? Because an additional detail or information will always pop up, and making sure to take note of it is essential. I’ve been guilty of not doing this and it has always come back to bite me. As I mentioned previously, anything can be thrown in your path, so keeping track of where certain tasks fall in your day’s work is important. Which leads me to my next tip…
This is something that I’ve learned about myself over the course of the past few months of managing multiple clients. Prioritizing things seems like an easy thing to do, and I’ve never struggled with this before, but what happens if three different client tasks or projects pop up at the same time? Where do I start? This is where I can start to feel frazzled. And that’s normal. But my next move is what can help keep me on track. I’ll take a comprehensive look at my list (that has quickly piled up) and narrow down to the things that I know need more attention than others. Additionally, I’ll crank out the few quick things that I can get done and then focus on the “bigger” things.
I’ve learned to not be afraid to take initiative and discuss with my boss, Adam, what the priorities are for the day or week. This helps to ensure we’re on the same page with each other and with our clients, to get their needs met in a timely manner.
Ask for Deadlines.
This might sound obvious, but when there are various projects/tasks/emails coming at me, I feel this overwhelming urge to get them all done. Right. Now. In a perfect world, that might be feasible, but as I’ve quickly learned, it’s impossible. There are only so many hours in the day and there are always bumps in the road when trying to get something done, adding more time to the overall process. Asking for deadlines helps create more of a timeline and can reduce the stress of having to feel like everything has to get done at that moment.
There is no written manual or YouTube tutorials on how to manage clients in public relations; unfortunately, that’s not how the world works. Although I still have a lot to learn when it comes to this area of my career, being organized, prioritizing, and asking for deadlines are a few things that have helped me better my multitasking and thus, manage clients more efficiently and minimize the stress.