Okay...here we go. I'm going to vent a bit. I believe the MOST IMPORTANT thing I have learned in my campaigns course is...the team makeup is EVERYTHING. Some people just don't work well together. In my PR Management course we read a chapter from Essentials in Management by Andrew J. Durbin entitled "Teams, groups, and teamwork." I recommend EVERYONE read it. There is a section that talks about the "roles for team and group members." They are listed and described as such:
Knowledge contributor - technically proficient, provides useful and valid information.
Process observer - observes how the group is functioning.
People supporter - provides emotional support and resolves conflict.
Challenger - confront and challenge bad ideas (or any ideas)
Listener - helps to summarize discussion and progress for the team.
Mediator - helps when issues between members move past the point of reconciliation.
Gatekeeper - makes sure all team members contribute equally.
First off, I am a challenger. I have no problems admitting that. I feel that if everyone agrees all the time on every idea, you are going to run into problems. When it comes down to it, not all ideas are smart or well thought of. They are IDEAS...not set in stone. In this particular campaign I feel as if I am probably the knowledge contributor as well. Will I always be...of course not. I am the knowledge contributor because of my background in music. I am in a group where I am the only one with a SERIOUS musical background. Some of the other members have played instruments through middle school and maybe through high school, but I have a bachelor's degree in Music Performance so I feel more comfortable. In our group we don't have someone that is purely a gatekeeper and that is something we needed more of. I'll just say that work was not given out evenly and there were plenty of solid reasons why that had to happen.
Campaigns has been a VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY frustrating course, but it has probably been my best and most realistic public relations course. To be honest, if PR is like this all the time...I probably won't retire being a practitioner. I take things pretty personally and I get super angry when people don't seem like they are pulling their weight or doing their job properly. To give you an example...I'm kind of "over" school. I just really want to get out. I am probably not putting as much effort into some of my classes as I should, but I do put all of my effort and more into these group projects...mainly because I don't want to screw someone else because of me. That's not fair to anyone. Anyway...we are going to make a C on our campaign, but it has been an amazing, honest, and educational experience. Until next time...