Live and Learn

Yesterday, I had a unique opportunity to present a communications plan to the marketing directors from the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. I am so proud of my team and all of the hard work that we put into this incredible project. We literally poured blood, sweat, and tears into our campaign. (well maybe not blood but definitely sweat and tears). I am so thankful and appreciative to have had this opportunity and all of the learning outcomes that I can now analyze.

The end product of our campaign did not come easily. Due to a variety of factors, this was one of the most challenging and emotionally draining projects I have ever worked on. From the start, our group dynamics were very complex. Out of the five of us, we each come from vastly different cultural backgrounds, work habits, and family life. We also have a variety of different learning styles and we each approach group situations from different angles.

Working on this project in particular has helped me to realize how important it is to understand group dynamics and manage different levels of engagement in order to meet the objectives of the team. Over the course of six weeks, we faced a number of challenges including miscommunication, misunderstandings, outbursts, screaming matches, apologies, and missed opportunities. In order to move beyond the stress, anxiety, and frustration, we had to find common ground and listen to each-other’s needs. I found that cooperation and compromise are the two most important elements for managing team dynamics. I have now become more aware of how my own actions can been misconstrued and misinterpreted.

In a broader sense, the Public Relations process involves a high level of commitment, determination, and dedication.  It is valuable to ask the right questions in order to steer your research in the right direction. This goes hand-in-hand with delving into the research process with full force. PR also involves thinking beyond the proposed parameters of a project. This may mean calling a past campaign manager to ask what worked well, or planning ahead for the future. Digging deeper into the issue-at-hand will always prove to be beneficial in PR.

After reflecting on these key elements (cooperation and compromise, asking the right questions, and thinking beyond the parameters), I can now use this experience as a learning piece that will guide my future project goals. But first, time for a rest!


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