What does a team look like to you?
To me a team is a group of people who are brought together for a common goal or purpose. Teams build houses, win championships, play music, run events, complete projects, fight crime, and the list goes on and on. Certainly teamwork is an important aspect of all industry's, Public Relations is no exception.
Public relations and teamwork go hand in hand because in both cases, good communication is key to success. One of the more common places for the the term 'team' to pop up is in sports. If you look at the history of sports, no one individual could have done it on their own. The same concept applies to our own team projects when we enter into the industry.
There are certainly challenges of being on a team. Different ideas, beliefs, personalities and ethics will all be factors in the team dynamic. It's important to realise that not everyone thinks like you, however you are the same in the sense that all members of the team want the same thing. We've all been exposed to the team mentality in the classroom. Through various class projects we've learned how teamwork can be difficult at times, but also very rewarding as well.
Just like there is no 'I' in team, there is also no 'I' in public relations. Well actually there is, but that's besides the point. Whether you are volunteering, implementing communications plans, running an event, or raising money, the team mentality will be important because it will be both physically and mentally impossible to do it alone.
Good teams are built on trust, communication, and equality. Never make the mistake of thinking you're a more valuable member then someone else. In my travels a great man once told me, "While we're here, we might yell and swear at each other, and on the outside looking in it may look like an unsuccessful effort, but that fuels us and leads to progress, and at the end of the day we can still go out for a beer together... that's a good team." This man was referring to a newsroom, and I think there can be an important lesson taken from it. We will all be a part of all sorts of teams during our careers, teams which will differ in size and personality. If you can check your ego at the door, and buy into the team's goals and purpose, your career as a public relations practitioner will be a successful one.
"Coming together is a beginning. Staying together is progress. Working together is a success."
- Henry Ford