Public Relations Time Out: 18 Minutes a Day to Time Management


Where did your public relations day go? Lately mine gets sucked up in social media networks whether it is client messaging, industry research or just plain sidetracked to reading about things like celebrity gossip or yoga classes.

This month’s Search Engine Watch column answers the call on how 18 Minutes a Day can help better manage your public relations and social media daily life. I recently read Peter Bregman’s book “18 Minutes.” It was just released last month and the result of a Harvard Business Review blog post that became one of the most popular and most commented posts on the site.

That post, “An 18 Minute Plan for Managing Your Day,” began with Bregman’s humbling admission that we can all relate to, but here is my slightly modified version:

“Yesterday started with the best of intentions. After a quick checkin to Starbucks I arrived at my office and hopped on my Trek Desk and opened my laptop. First I checked Facebook, Twitter and email. Two hours and six miles later, after fighting several digital fires, solving other people’s PR problems, and dealing with whatever happened to be thrown at me through my online public relations world, I could hardly remember what I had set out to accomplish when I took my first sip of vanilla latte and felt very organized to start my day. I’d been ambushed at digital gunpoint. And I thought I knew better…”

Below is a quick adaptation of how to make a short 18 minutes save you a ton of time and get you to where you want to be.

The 18 Minute Social PR Day

Step 1 (5 Minutes) Your Social Media Morning Minutes

This is your opportunity to plan your Social PR for the day. Before turning on your computer or picking up your PDA, sit down with the to-do list and decide what is happening to make this a Social PR successful day. What can you realistically accomplish whether it’s writing a blog post, researching a new Twitter tool, sitting in on a webinar, or getting ready for that next conference?


Step 2 (1 Minute Every Hour) SocialPR  Refresh and Refocus

Managing your Social PR time hour-by-hour is both a discipline and a science.

Set your phone, computer or watch to ring every hour and start the work that is listed on your calendar. When you hear the beep, do a social media check up. Assess your progress and recommit the next hour to get back on track.

Step 3 (5 Minutes) Your Social Media After Dark

At the end of your day, shut the laptop and review your social media day. Ask yourself some questions: How did my social media day go? What did I learn today? Whom did I interact with? Did I meet new followers on Twitter that I should send a quick @ reply? Was there a nice RT of me I should acknowledge? Any comments on my blog I should respond to?

Building and maintaining relationships is critical in social media and it is easy to forget that it takes just a few minutes to share appreciation, congratulate someone, or offer thanks.

Read my full article on Search Engine Watch including picking your social media high fives, creating a social media calendar and how to pick the things to ignore.


Meet Lisa Buyer in Chicago SES for her ClickZ Academy workshop Public Relations and Optimized Copywriting on Monday, November 14 and learn the latest tips and best practices on writing for search and social, including how to implement 18 minutes to social PR management into your day!




  1. Newest news, Social media marketing is about appealing to the heart of your customers rather than their heads.  It is not about selling your product, it but rather engaging with your customers and via relationship marketing.


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