In PR, activities such as planning, organising, coordinating, managing our team, stakeholders and clients and reporting on our results are pivotal to our work.
All these activities are elements of Project Management.
However, project management is seen as the domain of those working in engineering and not a critical component of the PR and communication practitioners toolbox.
PR practitioners and communication professionals need to challenge this and recognise the value of project management and apply its fundamental principles to their PR plan, and here’s why:
Project management is about being organised. Every step in project management has a purpose, a meaning, and takes you to the next level of your project.
So when applying it to your PR strategy, project management helps you structure your ideas, plans, and tasks.
You can quickly identify people with the right skills for your team, create an action plan and anticipate potential threats for your project.
As such, project management helps you be more organised and understand where you stand for each project you coordinate.
When applying project management principles, you learn what teamwork means and how they help meet the greater goal.
No matter where you work, you can’t succeed by yourself. Clients, colleagues, bosses, partners all have a say in your success. That is why it is essential to know how to identify your team’s strengths and weaknesses.
Sometimes you don’t have the time to test things, so having the ability to quickly identify who in your team can do what means you can focus on the bigger picture.
PR practitioners and communication consultants understand that everything is essential and urgent for our clients and organisations, and it all has to be done yesterday.
While understanding client priorities can lead to a strong working relationship, it does not always reflect the realities of working on multiple projects with various stakeholders.
Once you have mastered the essentials of project management, you learn how to prioritise each task and, most importantly, set a deadline. You will quickly identify what’s essential versus urgent, what you should focus on now, what you can delegate and what can wait.
THE END GOAL
The most important benefit of learning project management is to see the big picture and identifying the end goal: what is it your strategy is seeking to achieve? Is it coverage or enhancing your brand reputation?
You learn to not only look beyond the task at hand but to understand how what you’re doing affects the whole project. By adopting project management principles, you’ll learn to set milestones and focus on ways to reach them in your race to the greater goal.
Making project management an integral part of your PR strategy can increase efficiency and professionalism across the board. PR practitioners can ensure timely achievement of goals and consistent improvement by implementing project management principles, such as task delegation, effective timelines and problem-solving.
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