How To Get More Done With Less Stress


By: President, Julie Wright

Twitter: @juliewright

Delays are expensive. B2B marketers know this! When a product launch is pushed back, potential revenue is lost. When a prospect’s purchasing decision drags on, that’s money your company isn’t putting in the bank. So, yes, time is money.

That’s why the team at (W)right On Communications prizes productivity—so much so that we wrote an e-book full of tips for being more productive to share what we know. It’s called “How to Get 30% More Productivity from your Team in 30 Days.”

Public relations and marketing agencies are environments where time is an extremely perishable commodity. Like many professional services companies and consultants, we charge for our expertise but bill by the unit of time. As our colleague’s coffee mug states, “You have as many hours in a day as Beyoncé.” And that is the truth. It is what you do with that time that sets you apart.

So, to achieve the highest public relations and marketing communications ROI for our clients, we’ve found ways to get more done in less time and make sure that time is never wasted—ours and our clients. (Internally, this is known as our GSD philosophy.)

Here’s some data on why productivity matters:

  • 28% of the average office worker’s day is spent focused on unnecessary distractions.
  • 27% of office workers feel disorganized. (And an equal number must be lying or in denial!)
  • Over 30 hours a month are spent in unproductive meetings.

I can think of several people in my professional network who are so busy attending meetings that they’re not available to advance their real work (that’s where consultants like us can come to the rescue to take ownership of key projects and keep them moving on time and on budget).

For this post, I am going to focus on prioritization because it is essential to productivity.

You will get a ton more done in your day if you don’t overthink prioritization and instead make it a simple, no-judgment habit. In other words, make prioritization a no brainer. It’s easier than you might think.

Start by creating categories of work. Come up with three to five buckets for your tasks. Now prioritize those. The highest ranked should be the task that is most aligned with revenue or profits. What part of your daily work most impacts your company’s bottom line or your team’s goals?

You’ll be torn between two types of activities: those that drive short-term rewards and are very deadline oriented and those that drive longer-term performance and are not deadline-driven. It’s this second group typically has a much larger impact on your performance, your team’s or your company’s but falls by the wayside when the urgent gets all of your attention.

This is the tension between the urgent and the important that is a fact of business life.

But business is all about creating efficient systems. So set a policy for yourself to make handling these conflicting priorities a no-brainer. For example, plan to always prioritize 2 or 3 daily tasks from the urgent bucket and 1 to 2 from the important bucket every day. And if you’re not getting to the important task after three days, move it to the top of your list.

This blog post is a perfect example of that. Writing it is not urgent to my business today, but long-term it is very important to my business. Because of that I have prioritized it ahead of some client and other agency management tasks.

If a client called me right now with a crisis or urgent request that would become my immediate priority – prioritization needs to be somewhat fluid. What I like about this approach is that it brings a sense of order to the chaos which makes me feel better about my crazed work life and more in control of it.

Once you have prioritized the type of work you do every day and determine a policy for managing the urgent and the important, schedule five to 10 minutes at the start and end of every day to update and categorize your work.

The beauty of this is that each morning you can look at the day’s demands in a relaxed state of mind no matter how much work greets you. Give each task a category, rank your categories and then rank your tasks. Voila. There’s your list. You might choose to do this at the end of the day only so that your list is there for you each morning and you get the satisfaction of hitting the ground running—whatever makes prioritization easier for you.

I also like this morning ritual because it allows me to start the day feeling a sense of immediate accomplishment. (See our tip for Day 1 in “How to Get 30% More Productivity from your Team in 30 Days.”)

Do this prioritization process first thing before you even look at your email. You can look at your email later and make adjustments as needed. (See Day 2 for ways to minimize email distractions.)


A tool that I’ve been using is Todoist. I can easily move tasks around, assign or change due dates or create and schedule recurring tasks. Plus I can color code my priorities. The Todoist mobile app is especially handy for capturing action items during client meetings.

Despite all of my best efforts, there are too many days where I don’t even get to my to-do list. While we have identified and adopted many methods at (W)right On Communications for increasing our productivity, we’re always open to new and better ideas. Please feel free to comment and share ways you tackle your to do list!

Five Tips for Sparking Creativity

creativity Kara blog

By Communications Coordinator, Kara DeMent

Twitter: @KaraDeMent_

As a PR professional, it’s critical to be creative. Campaigns can live or die based on an idea.

But I have a confession to make: sometimes I struggle with creativity.

Creative ideas seem to come naturally for some of my colleagues, so it makes me anxious and nervous when I’m not producing them. I enjoy art, dance and writing; which are all creative activities, so why do I struggle so much with getting my own creative juices flowing?

Can you relate?

It turns out, a lot of PR professionals feel the same way. After digesting a copious amount of advice and best practices, I’ve learned five great tips for saying “goodbye” to those anxiety-filled creative blocks.

  1. Draw something – give your left brain a break and doodle! The right side of your brain is more visually oriented, so doodling can help “rev up” your creative engine. Drawing helps you relax and gives your analytical brain a break.
  2. Think outside the box – try viewing things from a different perspective. Think like your client, co-worker or audiences. Put yourself in their shoes. What do they like? What are their motivations? What’s in it for them? What’s the big picture? You never know what you might discover!
  3. Change your environment – move your creative thinking outside, to a coffee shop, or to a quiet room. Small changes can make a big difference. For example, the people watching & soft hum of noises at your local coffee shop may give you a different perspective than the office. In fact, Hollywood’s most successful writers often work at Chateau Marmont just for the inspiration. So, get out there and discover what makes you inspired!
  4. Take a break – step away from whatever project you’re working on and take a moment to collect and conquer. Sometimes a brisk walk and some fresh air can make a big difference.
  5. When in doubt, read! – read articles, blogs, and newsletters that you wouldn’t normally to give you different tips and perspectives.

Whether you’re brainstorming your next big strategy or social media campaign, consider these tips to tap into your creative side. If you’re still struggling with creativity, tap into ours! Feel free to contact us at

Need a Creativity Boost? How About a Run?

Running image


By Shae Geary, Senior Communications Strategist

I went for a run today. This is not out of the ordinary, but it had been a while since my last run. As I settled into my road rhythm, my mind began to whirl and I had one of those Oprah “a-ha” moments. Having been away from the activity for a period of time, I had forgotten how much running was vital to my job.

Yes, you read right. More than just a cardio boost, running has always been an essential part of my professional toolbox. It just took time away to realize how much. While my endorphins were flying high, I was equally excited about the creative juices that had started to flow. I finished my run with a great mental outline for a press release I needed to write, as well as a fun new idea for a program a client partner has been trying to get off the ground.

As many of us are continuing to tackle health resolutions for the new year, this serves as a good reminder that the benefits of exercise often spill over into our professional lives, making us more productive, happier and, as in my case, creating the ideal time and space for brainstorming. I find that running is especially conducive to creative inspiration because the activity itself doesn’t require a ton of thought or even strategy (unless you are training with time intervals, but that’s a whole different kind of running!) As muscle memory kicks in and heart rate peaks, so does your brainpower.

Scientific research seems to concur with my experience. According to this recent blog post by Eric Barker, researchers at University of Pennsylvania found that movement is in fact a secret to being more creative. If you’re not a runner, even the simple act of walking can help solve problems and provide a new perspective.

While the dream of showing up to the office in spandex and running shoes is probably far off, it’s exciting to know that stepping away from your desk for a run or walk is becoming part of the corporate culture for some companies. I loved reading about Facebook’s new headquarters, which include a nine-acre rooftop garden complete with walking paths so that employees can get outside and even hold walking/running meetings.

In short, the next time you’re looking for your a-ha moment, try plugging in your headphones, tying up your shoes and hitting the road. At best, you’ll return to your desk flowing with ideas. At worst, you’ll be reinvigorated to finish off the day. To me, that’s a win-win.


Meet the Team: Joaquín – Communications Specialist

We’re giving you the inside scoop on the entire WOC team with our “Meet the Team” series. This month, the spotlight is on our new Communications Specialist, Joaquín Enríquez.


Originally from Los Angeles, Joaquín is a senior at San Diego State University pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with a focus in Public Relations. Before joining the team, he spent time in the U.S. Army as an Infantryman deploying to Afghanistan and Iraq in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Joaquín’s strengths as a communicator include organization, active listening and an eye for detail. Joaquín is two-year member of Public Relations Student Society of America, with ambitions to build upon his PR experience and one day start his own sports communications firm.


What would you be doing if you weren’t at your current job?

Coaching soccer somewhere

What’s one word you would use to describe yourself?


Fill in the blank. “If you really knew me, you’d know ____.”

That I’m working on a suspense novel

What super power would you like to have?

Time manipulation

What would a “perfect” day look like to you?

Barbeque with my family and friends

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in the past year?

Appreciate the time you spend with others

Best vacation you’ve had?

Napoli, Italy 2004

What’s your most embarrassing moment at work?

I’m still working on that

Favorite quote?

People tell you who they are, but we ignore it because we want them to be who we want them to be.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would be cast as you?

Joaquin Phoenix

What’s your drink of choice?

Old Fashioned (double citrus)

If you were stuck on an island and could only choose 5 CDs, what would they be?

Morrissey/ The Smiths mix, Dean Martin’s Greatest Hits, The Eagles mix, Depeche Mode mix, and New Order mix.

Fill in the blank. “People would be surprised if they knew___.”

That I’m a two time combat Veteran

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Bandwagon sports fans

What tv show/movie is your guilty pleasure?

Married with Children

What’s one thing you can’t live without?

My family

Favorite line from a movie?

“They drew first blood, not me.” –John J. Rambo

Do you have an office nickname? What is it?

Not yet

What’s the best/worst gift you have ever received?

Best gift: mom Worst gift: non-functional bottle opener

What do you like to do in your free time?

I watch a ton of sports. Mostly vintage Real Madrid footage/ matches.

Four Keys to Getting the Most Out of PR


By Chance Shay, Senior Communications Strategist

Over a decade ago, Entrepreneur Magazine explained why every brand needs PR (back then brands were called “companies”) and while explaining that “good PR is the telling of a good story,” referenced The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR to illustrate their point. Long gone are the days where CEOs asked if public relations is important to their company. Instead, they’re asking how to make PR the most effective it can possibly be. Every brand in every vertical in every geographic market is different, but these four keys to getting the most out of PR are universally found at the foundation of all great public relations strategies.

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Focus on Efficiency

Whether you’re Justin Timberlake, Oprah or an exhausted PR director of a brand producing widgets, you have 24 hours in a day. Making the most out of that time is critical to beating competitors to the story angle punch and seeing your brand’s name in lights instead of on the outside looking in. Be smart about where your time goes.

This could come from instituting efficient work behaviors. Commit to starting the day off right. Schedule time for checking emails instead of responding to them as they hit your inbox. Make a point to prioritize your to-do list.

Another part is making sure you’re using technology to amplify the results while minimizing the time invested. Use tools like Hootsuite, Buffer or Soci to manage social media accounts, optimize content development and publishing, and streamline reporting (see below for why reporting is important). Use Basecamp to alleviate budget-eating project management time.

Remember, don’t bang your head against the wall. If there’s something your team lacks expertise in, outsource it.

Emphasize PR Measurement

To optimize your team’s efficiency, focus on results that provide the biggest bang for your buck. To understand which results are actually moving the needle, you have to measure them.

Without measurement, you won’t know where your resources are best spent. ROI was the buzzword (acronym?) of 2013, but it’s just as relevant today. Think of it this way: is an hour of your time best spent pitching a story or developing an eblast? If the time spent pitching media results in 10 sets of target audience eyeballs seeing your story, but that same time spent on the eblast results in 20 sets of target audience eyeballs seeing and engaging with your story, it’s easy to see where your focus should be.

But not all PR measurement is the same. Make sure you’re gauging outcomes over outputs. For good, strong and valid PR measurement, your team should follow the guidelines set by the International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communications, or AMEC.

PR and Marketing Go Hand in Hand

Do you still think of marketing as driving sales to customers and PR as building a brand’s reputation or trust? You shouldn’t. More so than ever, a brand’s reputation can make or break sales.

But the importance of traditional media is coming back down to earth, too. In fact, scholars and experts were writing about the declining influence of traditional media way back in 2010. With fragmented audiences and the socialization of the Web and its information, a brand doesn’t have to rely solely on traditional media to reach a large, targeted audience.

In 2016, marketing and PR are most effective when they’re done in tandem. Making sure what’s being said about your brand (media) and what you’re saying about your brand (marketing) are consistent is important because future or prospective customers are more informed than ever when they make a purchase decision. If there’s something out of sync with the information they’ve turned up in their research, they’ll see it as a big red flag.

Most importantly, PR and marketing working in tandem amplifies the result. If your PR results are driving the audience to additional brand-created content, then it’s easier to move them down the sales funnel.

Proactivity Over Reactivity

Finally, like a prize fighter, PR is most effective when it’s out in front of opportunities rather than back pedaling and swinging from its heels. Make sure a solid amount of lead time is given to prepare and launch campaigns. This allows you to tee up media wins in advance of the press release or advisory hitting the wire and ensure key influencers are already in the know before a single piece is published.

Being proactive is also important for fostering the strong media relationships. The quickest way to burn a media bridge is to cause a reporter to miss a deadline because you couldn’t provide the information they need fast enough. Anticipate the questions they might have and identify what information your brand is not comfortable releasing. If you’re announcing a development project, anticipate the detailed financial-related questions and have responses pre-approved. Be proactive in providing whatever is necessary to make it easy for a journalist to cover your story.

There is no magic bullet in PR. However, brands can set themselves up to maximize the return on their public relations investment by following these four keys. If you enjoyed this read, make sure you poke around the (W)right On Target Blog for some other pearls of wisdom from the world of PR and marketing. Some of my favorite recent posts include 12 Signs PR Agency Life Isn’t For You, 10 Feelings Anyone Who Works in PR Will Relate To and Reflections to Begin 2016, written by (W)right On’s CEO, Grant Wright.

Communicating Design With Clients



By Design & Multimedia Specialist, Keely Smith

Twitter: @KeelySmith8

When it comes to designing for client partners, it’s not your skill that makes a successful design project, but how effectively you communicate about it. We’ve all been there: you work on a design and you feel confident in what you’ve created, but when it’s time to reveal your masterpiece to your client partner, lo and behold…they hate it! So what happened? Mishaps like these are often a result of a lack of communication or understanding goals and expectations. Here are some best practices to set yourself – and your client partners – up for success and clear conversations on any design project.

Have an open ear

Right off the bat, you need to listen to what your client partner is trying to achieve. It’s vital to understand what’s happening under the surface. By this, I mean what are the goals of the design project – is it to drive more leads? Increase engagement? Or simply to revamp a brand for marketing purposes? These are important questions that will naturally arise as you have an open exchange about ideas and expectations.

Flesh out the details

Once you’ve put your listening cap on and have gathered the feedback needed, it’s time to put it in writing. It’s vital to clearly outline project deliverables, responsibilities and projected timelines for project completion. These details can be included in or accompany a creative brief, which should explain the design goals and how success will be measured, if applicable.


Stay on track

Sometimes unexpected developments can throw a wrench into the system, but it’s important to keep to the initial timeline and stay within the scope of the project. If a client partner requests work that is out of scope, be sure to add to or revisit the deliverables that have been agreed upon by both parties. This is not only to to keep things on track, but so you can be a good steward of your client’s budget and dedicate your time appropriately to deliver a product that you are proud of and they love!

Say it loud and proud

Design is an expertise, and any given project has you spending hours mulling over the perfect typeface, colors, arrangement and so much more. If a client partner suggests something that doesn’t seem to align with the project goals, don’t be afraid to address it… just keep it professional. It’s easy to be an order taker, but you’d be selling yourself short if you gave into every idea or request. This also has the potential to avert the project from the initial goals. Having skill is one thing, but as we know, knowledge is power! Giving your client partner access to your knowledge on such things will benefit the overall success of the project.

With clear and intentional communication leading all of your endeavors with client partners, you and your team will cultivate a valued relationship based on professionalism, understanding, respect and, most important, eye-popping design work. Designers, what tips would you share to help keep fellow pros on track?