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Spring Cleaning — PR Style

Spring is here, although you wouldn’t know it by the number of layers I’m wearing in D.C. right now. But it’s here, meaning that the blur that was Q1 (how is it almost April?!) is almost wrapped up and it’s time for some spring cleaning — PR style.

Tidy up that desk.

If your 2018 strategic plans are already buried somewhere underneath a pile of travel receipts, notebooks, status docs, old drafts of press releases that have long since been approved, and Post-it notes, take the time to get organized. If you don’t need it, trash it. If it’s worth saving, stick it in a file folder or — as a paper-hater, this is my favorite — scan it and save a digital copy. If you’re not sure if you need to keep it, ask someone. Start Q2 off right with a tidy workspace that promotes a tranquil, Zen-like, creative mood.

Organize your desktop.

Your desktop is a digital version of your desk. If it’s a mess, clean it up. The same rules of thumb apply: trash it or save it. I like to move things around to different sections of my desktop. Folders full of things I access constantly are in the top left. Drafts of things I’m working on this week are in the middle. And things I need to remind myself to file away somewhere are in the bottom right.

Clean out your inbox.

I don’t believe in achieving “inbox 0,” but I do have bouts of anxiety if my unread emails exceed 30. I feel like if I can’t quickly scroll through my inbox and scan to see what’s what, then I have too many damn emails and need to get organized. When I have too many emails, things get forgotten and deadlines get missed. I love this article from Fast Company about organizing your inbox by deadlines, rather than subjects (or, if our case, clients).

Check in with clients.

My favorite type of PR spring cleaning — and the one I spend the most time on — is looking back on what we accomplished for our clients in Q1 and what didn’t work, and then establishing strategies and priorities for Q2. This is a critical time to get your ducks in a row and also check in with clients to make sure they’re happy with the progress so far, too. Better to know now if they’re not happy than somewhere in Q3, where it’s too late to adjust your strategies to help them meet their year-end goals. Plus, I’ve always found they appreciate the simple fact that I checked in to ask.

Clean out the office fridge.

This goes without saying. No one likes a stinky fridge. Also, you shouldn’t wait until the end of the quarter to do it. Make it a Friday afternoon tradition.

What other PR spring cleaning do you like to do?