Thursday, February 15, 2007

Project Management 

A number of activities in PR are projects with defined beginnings, middles and ends. Think, for example, of producing an annual report or a press event or an electronic newsletter or magazine or news monitoring. The questions that bedevil many practitioners is how long such activities take and what is a realistic budget for getting them done? This is where a piece of software called project management comes into play. As far as I know, project management software has not been used much in PR, and it is a bit of a mystery why not. It may be the complexity of the software defeats practitioners. It also could be that few PR departments have bumped into the software, which appears to be used in line operations more than in support functions.

This paper looks again at project management software and asks whether PR is ready for it. I had looked at the software more than a decade ago. It was difficult to use then, and it is still not easy now. However, there appears to be more project budgeting in PR today than in the past. That is, an agency may get a small retainer but then has to budget for each project above that retainer. This requires care to think through what a project will entail. That is where project management software is at its strongest.

As usual, I would like to hear from anyone who is actively using project management software for PR, and I would like to know if the paper has gaps that need to be filled.


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