By Caitlyn Hughes
When it comes to being a part of a Public Relations agency, you need to be a team player. As the headline of this post reads “We’re all in this together” (yes, I am quoting a “High School Musical” song), but it’s true.
When working on a project with your team, everyone needs to be in it together to have a successful outcome! Being part of Montclair State University’s student-run PR agency Hawk Communications has allowed me to experience how to manage multiple projects. In the Hawk Communications course, we are split up into three or four groups all focused on very different projects. I learned a number of lessons this semester that will help guide me through the rest of my career.
The biggest lesson one can take away when being a part of any team is that communication is key. Everyone should always be on the same page, especially with the client. If you’re not on the same page, the project won’t have the expected outcome and your team will be lost. An easy way to stay connected is by having weekly meetings and going over the team’s goals for that week. Setting certain expectations that you hope to accomplish at the end of a campaign or project you’re working on are very important as well. Lastly, having an open line of communication so your clients and team members can reach you at any time with any questions is essential.
Also, it is critical to not be afraid to ask questions. When talking to your client, (especially face-to-face), that is precious time that you don’t want to waste. Using that time to clarify what they specifically expect from you will make your job easier and the outcome to be more successful. It is also important to have strong lines of communications between team members and making sure everyone understands the goal of a project.
Another lesson I learned is that organization is huge. Staying organized when working with a group will assist you in the long run. Most of my groups created a folder where we put different documents related to the project. An important document we created was a contact list to find information for the team. Another document my group created that was helpful was a collaborative idea sheet where we would all contribute ideas for our project. Having one sharable folder with your group made it easy for everyone to access all the documents instead of searching through emails and having to reach out to different people. Staying organized also makes a good impression on your client.
Overall, I believe these are three very important lessons that I am taking away while being a part of the Hawk Communications team. Being able to multitask, communicate with different people and meet deadlines were very rewarding. The support that the team gave each other was key and will help build professional connections. I look forward to applying the lessons I’ve learned to help me pave a successful path in my personal and professional life.