Tools of the Trade: How Nashville’s Best PR Pros Keep All Those Balls in the Air

Tools of the Trade: How Nashville’s Best PR Pros Keep All Those Balls in the Air

By Leigh Lindsey
September 15, 2021

Either you run the day or the day runs you.  

If I didn’t know those were the words of the late entrepreneur Jim Rohn, I’d put money on their being the musings of a busy PR pro.  

After all, if anyone knows how to juggle, it’s PR agency professionals. The MP&F team manages the PR, marketing, advertising, branding and graphic design needs of more than 100 clients while also serving a roster of Nashville nonprofits through our pro bono program. And that’s just in the office. Our staff members also balance important family and volunteer commitments, yet somehow always go above and beyond for our clients. 

We asked our MP&F colleagues to share their tips, tricks and tools for staying organized. Here are a few of our favorites.  

Write it down or it didn’t happen  

I write down everything. My deadlines, assigned deadlines, projects and follow-ups are always documented. I also use a planner to prioritize my most pressing to-do’s each day. – Angela Argiro, Senior Account Executive  

I force myself to write everything down and not let documentation fall to the backburner. It’s usually the first thing to go when I’m busy but the thing that helps the most. – Lisa Swinson, Senior Digital Strategist  

Make that list, and check it twice  

I write out my to-do list the night before and organize it by client. I prefer to do handwritten, but have really gotten into the sticky notes app on our laptops. I color coordinate by client! – Julia Stough, Assistant Account Executive 

I use one giant document with all moving projects and tasks broken out by client to stay organized. – Jenn Lanier, Marketing and Integrations Strategist  

I send myself an email at the end of every day with my to-do list separated by client and/or project so it’s the first thing I see in the morning. – Jen Stilwell, Project Manager  

I find it helpful to spend every Friday organizing myself for the next week and reordering my to-do list so I’m better prepared to jump in on Monday and have an efficient following week. – Lisa Swinson, Senior Digital Strategist  

Apps that lighten the load  

I love Notion. It’s completely customizable and lets me keep track of to-do lists and my time! – Andrea Lindsey, Assistant Account Executive 

iPhone Notes app is key. And now when I jot things down the old-fashioned way, I also take a picture to document. – Tom Cocke, Copy Director  

Otter.ai is great for transcribing meetings. I wouldn’t use it by itself for notes, but definitely a helpful tool. – Landry Butler, Data Analyst  

Evernote is a great app for taking notes on calls or meetings and can be tagged/organized by client and/or project. – Annbern Holliman, Project Manager

The opportunities for staying organized in Slack are amazing. Remind me in an hour, mark this message unread, mute notifications, the new Outlook integration feature and pinned items are key for staying on top of things. – Jen Stilwell, Project Manager

Todoist has been my go-to organization tool for years. It allows me to organize my tasks by client and then add one-off and recurring deadlines and notes. There’s also functionality that makes it possible for me to see all projects due on a certain day, plus color coding and tagging by individual so I can see at-a-glance all the moving projects I am working on with a particular colleague. – Leigh Lindsey, Senior Account Supervisor  

Master your inbox  

My inbox is my to-do list. I only keep the most recent email threads as to-do items. All other emails are moved to a folder system. I’m at my happiest when I have less than 80 emails in my inbox. – Courtenay Rossi, Vice President  

Email folders and grouping emails by conversation were two of the first things I did when I started at MP&F, and it has been a game-changer. – Jen Stilwell, Project Manager