Playing hockey at the Division I level throughout my four years in college was an experience I always knew would apply to my career. However, the correlation between high-level athletics and PR is stronger than I ever imagined. Here are five important lessons that translate from the ice to the office to differentiate successful teams: GOONS & GOAL SCORERS Every member of a sports team plays a different, but important and complementary role. For example, the puck can’t find the back of the net without both the goal scorer’s stick and the grit of the goon in the corner. The same holds true in most successful professional service organizations. Some shine at creative strategies, others in business development or project management. But to really hit the mark, each individual strength set must be valued, developed and integrated into team toward a common goal. “Divide and conquer” and “stronger together” find synonymous meanings within PR. IT’S IN THE PRACTICE You never just show up to big games and magically pull off big plays. The teams that win games are the ones that put in the hard work and create the habits that lead to those victories. The agencies that consistently deliver the highest-value results for their clients are the ones that are committed to quality and consistency in their everyday practices. REFLECT & LEARN AS A TEAM In athletics, going through video and seeing your mistakes isn’t the most enjoyable experience, but you can’t improve when you aren’t aware of the growth opportunity. Taking time for reflection, learning from experiences and stretching your professional muscles is what keeps agencies strong, forward-looking and in service of their clients. The best end results delivered to clients are ones that have been relentlessly revised and improved, just as within hockey the most successful teams are constantly reworking and perfecting their systems and strategies. YOU HAVE TO BE ALL IN It can be challenging to “bring it” day in and day out in a fast-paced environment – whether at the rink or at your desk. What keeps the energy strong at an agency is finding people who genuinely want to be there, who believe in the work and who are committed to brilliant results. Not everyone can be “on” all of the time, but in an industry that requires quick thinking and precise actions, you need team members who are committed and consistent. When operating at this high level, the strongest team members are those who know how to invest in their personal energy. Having a strong mental and physical foundation to work from—the rest, the skills and the positive mindset needed to perform—is just as important to a PR professional as it is to an athlete preparing for a game day. IT HAS TO BE ABOUT MORE THAN THE WINS There’s no denying that winning is fun. And although often winning is the objective, it isn’t necessarily the end-all, be-all. Tangible “success” in the form of campaign results, new business wins and revenue goals achieved are not enough to keep a team truly invested. The best teams define “winning” in broader terms. At Beehive PR, it’s our mission to deliver client service in a way that is conscious and positively brilliant, so that in lifting ourselves to new levels of focus and creativity, we’re lifting our clients too. When a day feels long or the successes aren’t coming easily, the bigger mission is what keeps us energized. When tangible successes align with goals that inspire, “rewards” and “rewarding” are one and the same.

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