By Rebecca Shapiro, Director of Public Relations
Growing up on the playground, every kid has their favorite memory. Whether it was playing tug-o-war, sharing sandbox toys or learning to push your friend on the swing set, we all have fond memories of those moments during recess.
Tuesday night Penn State PRSSA had the opportunity to listen and learn from well-versed alumnus, Rob Boulware. Boulware had a great presentation that discussed PR, a few life lessons and what he wishes he would have known coming out of college.
Throughout his speech, I couldn’t help but notice the comparison he made to life in communications and life on the playground. According to Boulware, communications professionals learn a lot of what they need to know in their profession during their days in recess.
Have an Anchor
For example, when playing tug-o-war, kids always want the biggest and strongest as the anchor for their team. They want someone they can rely on, fall back on and someone who has a clear vision of the competition. This holds the same for life in PR. When creating your team, whether it is for work or personal life, you want an anchor. There should always be someone you can rely on when situations get tough.
In the same vein, sharing is important in both situations. On the playground, it always seems that there are four hula-hoops and five kids. In PR, one must learn to share wisdom, assistance and resources when the situation warrants it. When you are having a tough time and “put your bat-signal on,” you want those who are willing to share their knowledge and help you out, just as you would do for them.
Another important point Boulware conveyed is that as a PR person you must ask questions. Kids ask hundreds of questions… about everything. Though you should not take it to that extreme, as a professional asking questions is the best asset you can bring to the table. So don’t be afraid; ask away!
Lastly, as kids the simplest lesson we learn is how to have good manners. Growing up, it’s easy to forget how far a “please” and “thank you” can go. So remember the basics, they will certainly come in handy throughout your professional career.
It is amazing how what you learned during childhood can apply to your future career. The lessons you learned from that kickball game in third grade might just help you land your next big job!