Spending nearly six years working with the American Red Cross taught me a thing or two about working on the fly. Middle of the night wake up calls from the media weren’t out of the ordinary—for disasters ranging from home fires to tornados, I had to be ready to get up and go with a moment’s notice. Prepping a so-called “go kit” of tools is a must for every communications professional. So what do I keep in my bag?
Media Consent Forms
It never hurts to print out a dozen media consent forms and keep them in a folder in your bag. You never know where the day may lead, and if you stumble across a great story you don’t want to miss the opportunity to grab a photo. It’s much more difficult to track someone down and have them sign a consent form after the fact. Hindsight is 20/20 after all!
Make sure you have all of your media contacts stored in your phone. There’s nothing more tedious than hunting down contact info in a crunch. Plus, you’ll know who’s calling when the phone starts to ring!
Portable Phone Charger
Keeping your phone charged is a must during the workday. A portable power block, like this one, is a great way to ensure you stay powered up even when you don’t have access to an outlet.
I know what you’re thinking. Snacks, really? Just hear me out. No one likes a hangry (hungry + angry) communicator. Keep a few protein bars stashed away in your bag for the unexpected. We all know it’s easy to get wrapped up in work, so having that extra boost of energy is vital to keep the hamsters spinning in that precious brain of yours.
Tuck It Away for a Rainy Day
Don’t forget to keep a crisis communications plan in your back pocket at all times. It’s something we hope you will never have to use, but you don’t want to be caught without it! And if you’re not sure what the difference is between issues management and crisis PR, check out our blog post.
What’s in your day-to-day PR survival kit? Let us know in the comments below.