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Quality communications take time to plan, create and deliver.

Unfortunately, time isn’t always on our side, and we end up rushed, facing deadlines and the next Sunday.

So what can we do to get ahead?

How can we move from a culture of last minute communication projects to planning ahead?

1) Track The Time Your Spend On Each Project

Begin by tracking the time it takes to do different types of communication projects. Be careful not to exaggerate, but be specific about what you do for each project and the time it takes.

Include time spent:

  • in meetings about the project
  • planning
  • writing text (copy-writing)
  • designing the publication
  • proofing
  • following up with staff
  • anything else related

Do this for a couple of months and you’ll have a good handle on how much time a project takes. You’ll also know where all of your time is going.

2) Educate Your Staff and Volunteers About The Project Needs

Using the time you’ve tracked as an estimate, begin to let your staff and volunteers know the time it will take to accomplish their communication project.

Help them understand your desire to help, but be realistic with your time estimates. Work with them to find a solution to the problem, offering suggestions on how you can still help.

  • Is there something else we can do to promote this event?
  • How can we streamline this to cut the number of hours down?

If you have to say “no” to a project do it with grace, tact and prayer.

3) Create a Repeatable Project Submission Process

Let your staff and volunteers know you are there to serve, but you need to work together to help them.

Develop a written list of how you will accept project requests:

  • When you need information
  • How to submit project details
  • Promotion timelines
  • Etc.

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