Avoid the spinning plates syndrome! 3 simple sure-fire tips to be a smooth PR operator

24 Sep 2014 by Hils Carmichael.

Our recent Salary Survey paints a rosy picture with its many positive findings. PRs are riding the crest of a wave—working hard, being rewarded handsomely and developing their skills.

Understanding the importance for our clients and candidates alike to maintain and increase momentum, NLP Business Coach Hils Carmichael shares some valuable insights into ways outstanding PRs can manage themselves and their time even better.

Keeping as cool as a cucumber is the number 1 skill in nailing any interview, pitch or presentation - or just zoning out ‘annoying noisy headphone person’ on the train!

Hils says, “When your heart accelerates - executive control in the brain switches to a more primitive response - so your mouth goes dry, your palms sweat, your voice goes higher and you either get tongue-tied or you say the wrong thing. Mortifying!”

Who hasn't been there at one time or another? To counter that, Hils has put together a simple technique – road-tested and approved by her clients ­– which she is sharing exclusively with The Weekly Word readers as a downloadable MP3. Invest just 10 minutes in downloading and listening to this and when you realise how easy it is to do, you'll wish you'd learned it sooner!

You can download your own copy of the file here.

The world of PR is not a place for dragging your heels. With change being the only constant, multiple clients, stretched goals and brutal deadlines, successful PR professionals find themselves spinning numerous plates. To ensure those plates don’t fall, Hils explains 3 practices her successful clients use to stay flexible, maintain focus and make the best use of their time.

Interested? Read on!

Busting the ‘My door is always open!’ myth

What we mean is “I'm approachable and I'm here” but when every interruption can steal 15 minutes to get back on track, a smart PR or manager diarises a regular appointment (and publicises it) where the door really is open for a quality interaction.

Hils’ clients report that after trying it three times, colleagues start to get the message and smart PR professionals win back precious time and build visible structure.

Hils says “When you have quality connections with other human beings, it makes the whole brain work more effectively. In fast-moving companies, collaboration is just as critical as the ability to plan out your day.”

The world of PR hinges on effective communications and while technology enhances and widens our network, it is equally critical to invest time and energy in maintaining strong face-to-face relationships in the workplace.


Email is probably the biggest time thief for any professional. By setting up a system for dealing more efficiently with emails and allocating times for when you will look at your inbox – a few times a day rather than fire fighting several times an hour – you will find that there’s nothing that cannot be put on hold for a few hours and you will have a surprising amount of time to dedicate to other tasks.

While certain urgent matters will require immediate attention, allocate time early on to look at the day ahead and decide what are the most important things to achieve and when you will focus on them. Hils advises, “Take a moment to ask yourself these questions: ‘What have I got to achieve? What hours have I got? When will I be available for other people? How can I tackle all the emails today?’”

By giving structure to the day, you will feel more in control and be able to move yourself and your career forward more effectively.

Finally: Manage energy, not time!

“If you sit at your desk for four hours, your body goes into hibernation and everything slows down,” says Hils. “It’s critical to take regular breaks just to shift your physiology. This changes your outlook which means you can think differently to find solutions.”

To keep momentum, make sure you get up and move around at least every hour –maybe walk up a couple of flights of stairs and go for a walk at lunch time – even if it's only for 5 minutes. Your work will be better and who knows, maybe the ‘muffin top’ will be kept at bay!

What are your tips for managing yourself and your time better? We’d love to hear.

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