Do you love or hate spreadsheets?
To me, this is a purely rhetorical question. Like everyone else in their right mind, I DESPISE spreadsheets. With a passion. Opening Excel makes my skin itch and my face fall asleep. Could there be anything more boring and tedious?
Okay, maybe bookkeeping or doing tax stuff… Am I right, or am I right?
(If you fall into the spreadsheet lover camp, good for you, weirdo! You probably already have a master spreadsheet that tracks more things than I can think of. I don’t know how you do it, but I have the utmost respect and maybe wish I could be just a little bit more like you...)
That being said, I actually do use spreadsheets, albeit reluctantly, because tracking is supercritical in PR as in every kind of business. I even have fancy PR software that is supposed to do it for me, but honestly, it leaves a lot to be desired, and I often find that it’s more effective to keep it simple (the Get Ink DIY mantra!) and set up a basic manual tracker.
For us creative types this can be a real drag but don’t skip this step! I promise it will come in handy on your PR journey.
There are two things I recommend you track:
For the first one, I am simply talking about keeping a record of your pitches. Just plug the names on your media list (more about this another time) into a spreadsheet and add columns for when and about what you contact them. This way you don’t have to go digging in your email sent box to figure out when you reached out to them the last time when it’s time to follow up or send a new pitch. (Been there, done that.)
For your media monitoring, as we call it in PR speak, keep at least a record of the date, the outlet, and the link to the digital coverage or a pdf of the print coverage. This will make it easy for you to pull and use your media coverage in your marketing without having to google yourself to find it. (Yup, it happens.)
Actually, note to self, I will take my own advice and create a tracker for the coverage my rockstar designers are starting to generate in the Design PR Insider Membership!
To make the task at least a bit more palatable, I like to add colors to my spreadsheets and play with the fonts. I am sure you can come up with something much more attractive than me!
P.S. For the moment, I am still offering new members ½ off the first month but not much longer...
Download my FREE in-depth guide that explains the 5 simple steps to get you quoted as a design expert in notable publication like Forbes, Apartment Therapy, Better Homes & Gardens and many more.