Scheduling Unscheduled Time: A Marketing Secret!

If marketing and public relations are one thing, they are the generation of ideas. Creativity is an absolute must in both fields. What is a print ad without a brilliant, catch headline? What is a social media promotion without great links, graphics and conversational, well-planned updates?

They are afterthoughts, that’s what they are.

We know what life is like for a small business or community organization: busy.

And who has time to be creative when you’re too consumed with your tasks of the day? “Place ad in newspaper” is easy to put on a to-do list. The task, “Think of a great new promotion” is not quite as simple. How much time does that take? How do you know when you’ve thought of it?

The good news and bad news is that there’s no way to know. What does this mean? It means that in order to add really great marketing or public relations effort to your business or organization, its necessary to schedule the unscheduled time to think about them. Because you know as well as we do that anything that doesn’t get put on the calendar or task list for the day just doesn’t get done.

So what does that look like?

This idea makes us think of one of our favorite downtown merchants. She’s an idea machine. She’s also the owner of her business and building, a DDA board member, new grandma and all around community activist. And low and behold, almost every week you’ll see a new creative promotion on her Facebook page. You’ll also see her coming up with great ideas for her DDA. How does she do it?

Well, despite arriving at her business before sunrise and typically not making it home until dusk, she always does the same thing during her lunch: she takes a walk downtown.

Scheduling “unscheduled” time into your day means any task that you plan to go and do with your body, but your mind is allowed to wander. We’re willing to bet it’s good for your psyche in all sorts of ways to do this, but we’re not psychologists. We are, however, marketing divas, so we know one thing for sure: great promotion ideas don’t come when you’re busy checking tasks off lists.

So go ahead! Take a walk every day. Take a bath every day. Clean out your inbox three times a week. Whatever mindless task allows your creative juices to get flowing, go ahead and schedule it in. You don’t have to feel guilty – you’re on the clock, just off grid. Your organization will be the better for it.

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