FOMO — Five Ways to Navigate PR Professionals’ Growing Occupational Hazzard

While the term is already years old, I hear more and more colleagues and business associates complaining about FOMO (fear of missing out) as they attempt to filter the firehose of information being shot at them by their phones, tablets, computers, cars and a growing array of IoT (Internet of Things) connected devices. As a glutton for media and a news junkie, I have identified five ways to go about turning this challenge into a strategic advantage as follows:

1-Do a better job of curating your Twitter, other social feeds.

Your social feeds have too much of the wrong stuff and not enough of what you need.

Curation is critical to ensure your feeds are advancing more than hindering your objectives. Here are three easy steps:

A) Remove anyone you don’t know or can’t remember that is not helpful professionally. You have enough cute jokes and memes without them.

B) Make sure professionals you follow are the best and brightest and get rid of the rest. Include top CEOs, analysts, reporters on specific topics.

C) Use LinkedIn for networking, Twitter for thought leadership, tracking reporters, Instagram for influencers, great visual content (also Pinterest) and Facebook for close friends/family.

2-Respond quickly, briefly, that you’ll get back to them with ideas.

Everyone is impatient. The whole professional world emails gazillions of times per day and then waits. Like BF Skinner’s rats, an immediate response gives your important contact a hit of dopamine and more importantly, confidence in you. Don’t underestimate that. If you don’t have time and/or the answer it’s usually worth immediately replying, “got it, working on it, will update you asap.”

3-Read national newspapers the night before.

The morning’s news is often too late for PR folks. Checking national newspapers digitally before bed saves time in the AM and provides both a jump on next steps and a night of REM sleep-powered subconscious problem solving — and it will speed up your morning.

4-Tell your digital slaves to work harder for you.

Hey Google, Siri, Alexa, Cortana and HAL 9000 — remind me to email back that annoying client who hasn’t paid yet by 4pm. For all the annoyance of today’s voice assistants, this is one thing they all do really well with a simple command and I find it works like a charm. It also has saved me from burning dinner numerous times in the kitchen!!!

5-Check your eye contact before you wreck yourself.

We all know good eye contact is key for business. But in the heads down iPhone era have you slipped on this? Run a double check on how much eye contact you are making versus how much you look at your phone while in the presence of live people.

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