It is undoubtedly helpful to join organizations that are related to your desired career, such as PRSSA or PRowl Public Relations. Don’t be deterred, however, from joining another organization or participating in an activity because you don’t think it will help your career in communications.
I began playing field hockey when I was in fifth grade. When I learned Temple had a club field hockey team, I signed up to play as fast as I could. I became a dedicated player and involved myself with the running of the club. I was elected the president of the club team my sophomore year. What does playing a sport have to do with public relations? Plenty!
I was able to hone my organizational and leadership skills while enjoying the sport I love. Here are some of the tips I have gathered over the past two years as president of the Temple Club Field Hockey Team that I can now apply to my future career in public relations:
– Create a binder: Create a binder with any and all useful information for your position. I kept player contact information, the sports club handbook, our constitution, and other information that I may need on hand at any field hockey practice, game or tournament. I just passed this binder on to the new president of the team. Having a binder with useful information about the position is beneficial for transitioning other people into the position you just left.
– Create a “one sheet” for each event: Create a document for each event that has all useful information you may need for an individual event. For each game I created a document that listed game information, game location and directions, opponent’s contact information, list of players attending and not attending the game, etc. Instead of trying to remember details at a moment’s notice I had a document in front of me for each game with everything I needed.
– Delegate work: When I first became president as a sophomore, the president had little help from the other elected officers. I spent most of my sophomore year and part of my junior year doing everything for the club. This was partly because I wanted to do it all and partly because the other officers rarely helped. I realized that I cannot run a whole field hockey team myself, so I started to delegate work to the other officers. I created new positions, such as Recruitment Coordinator and Fundraising/Social Coordinator, in order to make sure everything was done for the club. I was constantly checking in with the other officers to make sure their work was being completed on time. This was the true position of the president, and I learned the club ran more smoothly with the diligent help of others.
These are just a few major tips I learned during my two years as president of the Temple Club Field Hockey team. Join another organization that piques your interest and get involved right away. The more effort you put in, the more experience you will get out of your participation that will help you in your communications career.