Why is it that some people just love meetings!? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for ameetings with a purpose but so often they don't seem to get to the point fast enough or at all.
When I started out in PR more than a decade ago one of the agency directors regularly suggested a "kitchen meeting" or a "stand up meeting" and it's still in my mind, one of the best ways to conduct a catch up meeting. They would consist of the key people moving to the small kitchen where everybody had to stand, we would say what they needed to say, set new actions and walk out the door - all done and dusted in less than a quarter of the time of a regular sit down meeting. The fact that it was in the kitchen meant that people couldn't get comfortable in office chairs and it usually smelled liked somebody's smelly lunch so the faster we could all get out of there the better!
I often think of this when I am in a meeting that tends to go on for far longer than it should so I suggest the next time someone recommends a meeting that you think unnecessary, to suggest moving to the kitchen for a standing up meeting!
In the event that your colleagues or client won't buy in to this then here are just four simple tips for getting the most out of your meetings;
Have an objective; there is really no need to meet for the sake of it or when you can simply check in on progress with a quick phonecall. If meeting in person then have an objective and a purpose.
Choose your people; Chances are the HR manager or front of house staff do not need to be involved in a PR meeting or the PR manager does not need to be present at an accounts meeting. It's not vital in most businesses for everybody to know what everybody else in the organisation is doing, therefore, keep meetings tight and with the correct teams.
Put an end time on the meeting. It's best to have a wrap up time agreed on before the meeting and where possible try to keep it to between 45-60minutes tops. This way all the important stuff gets done first and everybody sticks to their timelines for the day.
Take notes. Take notes on action points and who is responsible for them and send these out after the meeting. This ensures that any actions are actually actioned before the next meeting and when there's a name beside them there's no hiding!
If you want to chat about PR for your business feel free to contact me here - always happy to have "stand up meetings" in non smelly environments!