25 May What Your PR Team Can Learn From the Avengers
The world’s premier superhero team is still reeling from their battle with Thanos, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t learn from them. Superheroes are meant to be examples to look up to, and I believe they can teach us things beyond how to poorly maintain a secret identity or throw a physics-defying shield. Let’s take a look at what your PR team can learn from the Avengers.
Between the box-office breaking films where they all come together, the Avengers each wrestle with their own villains. But just because the movie is titled Captain America doesn’t mean that no one else can lend a hand. Heroes frequently pop up in each other’s films to help out, kick butt or provide some comic relief. Your PR team should work the same way!
Your co-workers have their own myriad of tasks and to-dos, and it’s easy to get silo-ed. There are times when your own to-do list will surround you, and you’ll find yourself facing down an army of action items.
But that’s the thing about being on a team— you don’t have to fight alone. Let someone be the War Machine to your Iron Man! The Wong to your Dr. Strange! Agency life is a fast-paced, bracing affair. To succeed you need to be able to share the burdens. As someone who’s read a lot of comics in his time, I can tell you that nothing brings down a hero as fast as pride. So ask for help. Delegate. Take a day off and let your team cover you!
Everyone Has A Role to Play
In the first Avengers movie, during the Battle of New York, Captain America gives instructions to the rest of the Avengers. Iron Man is to fly Chitauri around the city, while Hawkeye is assigned to take the high ground so he can call out positions and pick off targets. Meanwhile, Thor is to use his lightning to take out aliens as they come through the portal, while Hulk takes on the bigger enemies.
While a typical day for your PR team most likely involves fewer lasers and Norse deities, the concept of delegating by specialty still applies. While your team members – crack PR aces that they are – are likely very versatile and adaptable to different tasks, I’m sure they all have their own specialties. One person might be able to whip up a press release like they’re blogging about their day, while another might have the magic touch when it comes to pitching reporters. Just because someone isn’t on an account doesn’t mean you can’t bring him or her in to help make a beautiful presentation or put together a media list, if those are their strengths. Finding and emphasizing specialties is a key part of building any successful super-team.
Sometimes Saving the Day Requires Sacrifice
It wouldn’t be a superhero film without a character bravely putting it all on the line in order to save the day. Captain American at the end of The First Avenger, Ant-Man in Ant-Man, Groot and Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America again in The Winter Soldier. Our favorite heroes aren’t always paragons of selflessness, but when push comes to shove they’re willing to sacrifice for the greater good.
Fortunately for your PR team, heroics shouldn’t involve diving a Hydra ship into the arctic or jumping out into the vacuum of space. But you and your co-workers should be willing to sacrifice personal time in order to get things done. Sometimes securing that interview or winning that client is going to require an effort that is above and beyond. Whether it’s staying at the office into the night or continuing your work from home, in these situations you can look to the example set by our heroes, and give your all in order to finish the mission.
However, these scenarios are special cases, not the norm. Remember that the personal lives and mental health of your team members are very important, and burning the candle at both ends should be an exception, not a habit. In Avengers: Infinity War, Captain America tells The Vision “We don’t trade lives”. Remember that when work stops intruding on your personal time and starts renting a room.
Just like your PR team, the Avengers certainly aren’t perfect. They’re flawed, they fight each other, they make mistakes, and sometimes they fail. But when they do work together, they’ve proven they can save the world. While the stakes may not be quite so high for you or your colleagues, taking some cues from the most powerful superheroes (no offense, Batman or Superman) may help save the day for your clients.