4 Benefits of Project Management for PR

2024-01-15 10:00:00
Chris Norton
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Summary : The article stresses the vital role of project management in Public Relations (PR), highlighting benefits such as enhanced efficiency, effective timeline management, optimal resource allocation, and task prioritization. Embracing these practices equips PR professionals with essential tools for successful project outcomes.

Juggling tight deadlines, shifting priorities, and adapting to media trends demands a delicate balance. PR professionals must also consider client expectations, maintain team communication, stay abreast of industry trends, and leverage new technologies to work effectively and stay relevant.

According to Meltwater, 70% of PR marketers grapple with creating effective content, while 50% find converting data into actionable insights challenging. Meanwhile, 44% of PROs aim to dedicate more time to internal communications.

All that to say, PR professionals have so much to do, and it’s so easy for crucial items to get overlooked. This is why project management is a must for every PR professional.

Project management for PR involves planning, organizing, and overseeing PR tasks and resources to achieve specific project goals within a set timeframe and budget. It involves coordinating your team's efforts to complete tasks efficiently and ensure successful project outcomes. In this article, I will show you four benefits of project management for PR strategies. Let’s jump right into it.

1. Improves efficiency

This is one of the most important benefits of project management for PR. Incorporating project management techniques such as Waterfall, DevOps, Scrum, Kanban, etc., into your workflows can provide a structured framework for planning, executing, and monitoring tasks.

So what, though? Well, integrating these project management methods into your PR workflow can be a game changer. With a clear visualization of your PR workflow, you can spot potential risks early, create backup plans, and address challenges that can hamper efficiency before they become bigger problems.

Assume you want to announce the launch of your company’s newest product via a press release. Assume, too, that, based on your project workflow visualization, one person is assigned to writing the press release and another to incorporating images into the PR content. Both tasks also have separate deadlines. For efficiency’s sake, then, you might decide to marry the two tasks so that only one person is assigned to do them both. You might also decide to have only one deadline for both tasks.

Project management software also assists in defining clear and achievable project goals for your campaigns or initiatives. It allows you to create detailed project plans that include the project objectives, tasks, resources, and timelines. This clarity ensures that everyone on your team understands the project scope and is on the same page. This effective communication among your team members again helps optimize your workflow. With a palpable increase in your teams’ efficiency, you can ensure the delivery of excellent PR services is timely.

2. Timeline and deadline management

PR tasks encompass a wide range of activities aimed at building and sustaining relationships with the public, media, clients, and other stakeholders. This means that public relations professionals may struggle with creating practical timelines for different activities and also keeping up with or meeting tight deadlines. Besides, with the many things to do, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and not know where to start. It’s no wonder a staggering 80% is spent on things with little or no value, while only 20% of the average workday is spent on crucial things.

Project management can help.

Project management tools like ZenTao allow you to break down complex projects into smaller tasks so it becomes easier to create project schedules and manage timelines. Instead of a very general PR campaign to announce the company’s website redesign, for instance, you can break it down into tasks such as:

  • Media outreach
  • Content creation
  • Event planning

As part of proper project management for PR, you’d just need to assign specific deadlines for each task and follow them to ensure on-time project delivery.

If you’re working with a team, after assignment, just ensure members comply with the respective deadlines of their tasks for the project to be completed on time.

Even following up with your team members falling behind deadlines is pretty easy with project management software.

Project management tools offer real-time collaboration features, ensuring open lines of communication. This means you can easily reach out to your team members for individual projects within the platform. Additionally, the automated reminders help you and your team members stay aware of upcoming deadlines.

Some tools even have time-tracking features that allow you to monitor how much time is spent on each task. So, if a team member is spending too much time writing a press release, for instance, you can give them a friendly nudge.

Alternatively, you can make assessments about the accuracy (or inaccuracy) of initial time estimates to complete a task within the project. If the initial time estimates were unrealistic, you can easily make adjustments to the task and project completion deadlines. Your team members will be notified about these, too.

3. Resource Allocation

Here’s another great benefit of project management for PR: it can help you allocate resources optimally to achieve PR goals and objectives on time. Project management practices will help you distribute available resources, like people, time, and money, efficiently.

You can use project management tools to assign specific tasks to team members based on their skills and expertise. This prevents unnecessary delays and ensures that the right people are working on the right tasks for optimal resource utilization.

Project management techniques and software can also help you visualize backlogs in your workflow. As a result, you can make data-driven decisions when it comes to allocating resources.

Assume a team member has been assigned to write 10 PR content pieces in time for a product launch in two weeks. But, based on your workflow visualization, of the 10, they only finished one with only five days to go before D-Day. To address the backlog and ensure the PR content pieces are ready in time for the launch, you’d just assign more PR writers to help them. Just make sure you also use a work schedule maker to balance the workload among project team members. With this strategy, you help prevent burnout that can also affect resource allocation.

In the same manner, if your project workflow visualization shows writing press releases took less than what was initially expected, you could easily transfer some of that unused time to another task that may take longer to complete. This will lift the burden off the team member assigned to complete that task. Since they have more time to complete it, they can guarantee the level of quality of those specific project deliverables, too.

With proper project management, you can also easily track expenses throughout a project life cycle and compare them against the allocated budget. As a result, you can make adjustments to ensure you stay within the expected overall PR project cost.

Overall, project management makes resource allocation easy. Why is resource allocation important? It ensures you don’t go beyond the project timeline or budget.

4. Prioritization

Prioritization is an important benefit of project management for PR. When you prioritize the more important tasks in a PR campaign, even with limited resources, you can still ensure project success.

We already know project management strategies and tools offer a structured framework for task management. That means you can easily visualize if your team is on track to meeting your PR campaign’s common goal.

Let’s say as part of your PR, you want to launch a networking event for your company’s external stakeholders. Assume as well that you have one person assigned to perform two tasks, say, PR content creation and reserving the venue for the event.

If you find the event deadline is fast-approaching and neither of the two tasks has been completed, proper project management dictates that you need to notify your team member about which task to prioritize. In this case, that would be the event venue reservation. After all, your PR event can still push through even in the absence of PR content. But you can’t have your event if you don’t have a venue.

With project management software, you can assign a priority label to each of your PR tasks depending on the main goal of your PR campaign. You can determine what specific labels to use. But I would suggest using straightforward terms such as “low-priority,” “average priority,” and “high-priority.” To ensure everyone on your team is on the same page, you can describe what each term means in your chosen project management platform.

In Closing

The challenges faced by public relations professionals emphasize the need for effective project management. Handling various PR tasks and executing PR strategies effectively requires a proactive approach. You can’t do that if you have no clue as to the progress of tasks associated with your campaign.

You’ve learned about the benefits of project management for PR. From improving efficiency and simplifying deadline management to optimally allocating resources and aiding prioritization, project management has become a vital tool that offers practical solutions and key benefits for PR professionals.

Overall, embracing project management helps ensure skilled project managers for PR. PR professionals can navigate challenges efficiently and produce successful project outcomes.

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