PR blogger Steve Rubel likes to talk sports management metaphors in his blog, looking at how they can be applied to the management of PR teams and PR campaigns. Right now, he's on to American Football and scripting. In business, this is the practice of getting a set number of tasks done before you start working reactively on ad-hoc projects that arrive through emails, calls or meetings. In American Football it's the process of planning your first 15 or so attacking set moves and sticking to them so that you are well-drilled and so that when you come to be a bit more flexible with your attack later in the game, you know the lay of the land.
Sounds great. Steve points out, it shares some principles with Tim Ferris' ideal of the work week where you focus on batching work into chunks so that more time can be spent on what you really want to do, and less on inanely working for work's sake but not necessarily being more successful (which in turn touches on Parkinsons Law of work filling the working day). The bottom line: get lots done quick and plan it. Then don't mess around with the rest, learn from your plan to be most effective when you start freestyling. Or else you'll fill your day with dross, lose your way, and not get done what you wanted to prioritise to begin with.
As well as Ferriss, Rubel likens the working practices of Marissa Mayer, one of Google's famous big bosses, to the practice of scripting in business. I like some of how Marissa Works. I feel a little bit like her in ways, such as the tetchiness and task-cramming. But a bit like her complete opposite Ferriss in others. They're both extremes who both use scripting to help them get stuff done. Have a read about Marissa - it's part so-what, part fascinating.
Mayer is time-sensitive to the point where she gets angry if the channel on the TV doesn't change quick enough and she multi-tasks so that she never has an empty moment, multi-tasking work into her free time. She puts in 14 meetings a day, with a further 14hrs of email on the weekend. She gets 800 emails a day. She manages her time through an assistant, and her tasks through text based email. She has two email addresses. Now that would make me explode. But she works a lot like me and people I work with in many ways. Lots of information, lots of work, and the feeling of needing to fill every empty moment with tasks to complete.
So we can script our days to get more done (and see how to manage an assistant). How can we script PR campaigns? This would possible be like planning for three-monthly periods at a time, learning from the previous quarter as the year progresses. This way you're more focused, and your next plans are better adapted to the environment. Quarterly 'scripting' as opposed to 12-monthly planning isn't new, but this shows an interesting rationale on how successful it is in sport (mucho Superbowls!) to justify it in PR campaign planning next time.