For our final project in PRL 215, we had to collaborate with members of the class and create a strategy for improving the reputation of Syracuse University. While group projects can sometimes present a challenge, working in a group and observing other presentations taught me so much about PR and group work in general. So, what was lessons have I learned from trying to master the perfect pitch?
1. More Team Members = More Brain Power
I feel blessed that my team was extremely diligent and worked hard to create a great idea and presentation. Without them, the results would not have been as creative. Each person brought something unique to the table in terms of background, talent and skills, which ultimately made our group and project stronger. In Public Relations, we often work on teams and need to understand how to utilize the skills of each group member. This exercise improved my teamwork skills and showed me the power of collaborating powerful minds. I wish that we had more group projects this semester; it would have been a great way to get to know my classmates and their talents.
2. The Shorter, the Sweeter
For me and other members of my generation, 25 minutes is — sadly but truly — far too long to sit and listen to a pitch. If you needed that much time then you didn’t have a clear focus and understanding of your goals for the client. In this world where information is constantly thrown at audiences, we need to be sure we deliver them concisely and with lasting impression. One of the groups in Professor Kucharavy’s class had an especially powerful beginning, which caught the attention of the audience and kept the audience entertained throughout the presentation. This needs to be maintained to really sell the idea and your PR team as the right ones for the job.
3. Learn By Doing
Actively working on projects like these are the most invaluable experiences you can have. The best way to understand the trials and tribulations of the PR industry is to be thrown into the situation under a deadline and figuring out how to make everything work. I loved doing this project not only because of my group, but because I am understanding my own strengths and weaknesses in terms of group work and public presenting. I know I sometimes speak too fast, but now I know the power of my creative mind is helpful for the more artistic aspects of PR. Watching other groups succeed or stumble through their presentations helps me understand what I want to incorporate into my own practices. I truly hope that the class integrates more simulations like these, because they are essential to helping a budding PR professional grow.