By Todd Murphy | March 19th, 2020
Yes, the world has changed since we began our dance with the novel coronavirus now called Covid-19. Government communications, corporate communications, emergency management communications, and health care public relations have all undergone a huge change at the hand of a fast-moving virus.
For many corporate communicators, public relations pros, and information officers, Covid-19 has delivered a crisis that no pre-planning could have imagined. Functionally, many communications pros are now working from home, where they may also be balancing children, other family members, or simply the difficulties of not having access to all the same tools as they had in their offices.
This post is going to outline three unique things professional communicators could do to either improve the tools they have at home or take advantage of their time working from home to learn new skills. Some people find themselves being more efficient at home, which can leave a surplus of time in their day. Also, it may just be nice to take a break from your mission-critical tasks to further your knowledge in your area of interest: communications.
So you’re a PR professional, corporate communicator, or in charge of public information and you’re working from home. The following three tasks are no-cost things you can do when you want to take a professional break.
1. Explore that news monitoring and media measurement portal you subscribe to. Whether you use Universal Information Services, Cision, or Meltwater, most communication pros are guilty of not fully utilizing the portal tools available to them. If you have an assigned customer service representative, reach out to them to schedule a training session. If you don’t have an assigned representative, call or email your vendor to find out who that is. They should have the time to help you better understand the tools you are already paying for.
As a side note, if you’re using a vendor that can’t do this for you, it may be a good time to look at another media monitoring or PR software provider.
2. So, let’s talk about using your at-home break to investigate new media monitoring and measurement services. Rarely do professionals have time to explore what better solutions might exist outside the vendor they’re using. We often see prospects using a vendor because they inherited that service when taking the job, or because of a well-executed sales effort. But does this mean that your current vendor is fully meeting your needs? Since you may be breezing through your daily work more quickly now that you are uninterrupted at home, it might be a good time to learn about what other services might be better for you.
If you haven’t looked at what other news monitoring and measurement services exist, the good news is that there are plenty of options these days. Some only provide you a software-as-a-service, where you have to do all the work yourself. Other vendors, like Universal Information Services, are right for professionals that want more support and assistance in the work they do.
3. Lastly, think about accepting that invitation for a webinar to demo a competing news monitor or measurement service. You know that the competitors to your current vendor have been reaching out to you forever. Now could be a great time to see if the grass is truly greener on the other side.
Or maybe this is simply a good time to let the kids take a break with screens, and you can immerse yourself in some stimulating exploration of better news monitoring tools. Either way, a demo can be fun, work-related, and help you fill a day that may otherwise not be as engaging as when you were in the office.
Hopefully you find the three opportunities I outlined interesting, if not unique. Stress in balancing working remotely and any other personal matters that compete for your time when at home is a real problem. Finding time to engage in one or more of the above distractions will help you and others in the public relations software industry get through this unprecedented time in our history, and potentially increase your skills.
Universal Information Services will also be offering free webinars for those who want to learn more about news monitoring and media measurement. You don’t have to be a client of ours to join, there is no cost, we won’t use your information for a relentless sales effort, and what we will be teaching is portable to almost every news monitoring/measurement platform including Cision, Meltwater, and others. Why do this? Because we feel we all need to do a little extra to help each other get through this pandemic with a healthy body AND mind.