Managing the 24/7 PR clock

When I worked at Yahoo, emails flew at 2 am. No kidding. The drive to respond was real, because you knew that - despite all the happy talk - you were being judged. And, it's only gotten more so for us.

When I worked at Yahoo, emails flew at 2 am. No kidding. The drive to respond was real, because you knew that – despite all the happy talk – you were being judged. And, it's only gotten more so for us – that is, PR people – who need to keep up with the news of the day (and the night) as it's happening.

Speaking for myself, I know I'm addicted. I put my iPhone down for a second and feel a kind of yearning for it that reminds me of new motherhood. It's really dysfunctional, but in a way unavoidable. The only way to keep up with everything – Facebook, Twitter, and everything else – is to stay up all night or skip something. That's the sad reality.

That said, we'd probably all be better – smarter and more productive -- if we took a minute to strategically “skip something.” “Lean back” – as Arianna Huffington says – in order to jump a little farther.

In Sheryl Sandberg's new book, Lean In, which comes out next week, she makes the case that women need to work harder and dream bigger. Well, I can tell you from the front lines, we're already working pretty hard. The trick is to find a workable balance that allows you to accommodate work and life. (Despite what they say, I treasure those flights without WiFi when I can read a good book and feel guilt free.)

Back in 1977, when the Concorde resumed service from JFK, I remember wondering what we needed supersonic travel for. I mean, after all, it's only a matter of a couple of additional hours. LOL. In a couple of short decades, things have progressed to the point where global communication is instantaneous. No need for a flight at all.

This instantaneous communication ups the ante as we keep 24-hour watch on, well, everything. All this to say that the 24/7 PR clock is grueling – inspiring and exciting at times - but punishing. And so forcing ourselves to take a little break - whether it's a vacation to Paris (wink wink) or a nap during the day – may enhance our productivity in the end and, like the folks at Keds once said, we will “run faster, jump higher.”

Here are a few of the things I have found most helpful in managing the 24/7 clock:

  1. Maintain timezone sanity: It's tough to find the perfect time of day when you work for a company in San Francisco and have clients in Europe. You could literally work from morning till night. Set your own parameters, and stick to it as much as possible.
  2. Exercise in the morning: Not sure this is a 24/7 thing, but it does help keep you in shape, physically and mentally.
  3. Do what you love: This definitely helps, no matter how many hours a day you're working.
  4. No office politics: Don't waste precious time and energy getting involving in office imbroglios.  Not worth it.
  5. Don't sweat the small stuff: Ok, after a while, you get a feel for what's worth your time, but the reality is, there's a lot that can be handed off. So do it!
  6. Appointment viewing: Set aside time each day to check Twitter and Facebook.
  7. Family and friends: Count on them to clip for you and keep you posted on cool stuff.
  8. Finally, just say no to 2 am emails.
Ruth Sarfaty is managing director and head of the New York office of SparkPR.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.