Let’s Get Together – Yeah, Yeah, Yeah! Collaborative Professional Development

Let’s Get Together – Yeah, Yeah, Yeah! Collaborative Professional Development

In the PR business, and business in general, we too often “think INside the box” when it comes to collaborating with possible competitors, or rely solely on structured opportunities for interaction through professional trade associations. Breaking out of that box can help you reap big rewards, especially when you team up with others for the purpose of professional development.

Recently, my team at Impact PR & Communications, and another boutique PR firm, The Boreland Group, joined forces for a boot camp session at M Booth, a large, award-winning New York City-based communications company. The session featured two of M Booth’s resident experts at their Manhattan offices. What brought our companies together were two freelancers who work with both of our firms. The takeaways were incredible. Getting out of our respective offices, talking about ideas, best practices and dreaming bigger in a casual setting (picture soft sofas, bean bag chairs and fuzzy pillows) was just what we needed. Though our companies could be competitors, we set those concerns aside and collaborated.

Here are three great benefits of collaborating with other companies or individuals in your industry:

Shared Resources – Instead of going it alone, share the cost of a catered lunch, a meeting space or a guest speaker. Save money, make friends.

Find Your Posse – A friend of mine has informal lunches with what she calls the “PR Posse,” people in her community who work in communications across various industries. A lot of laughs – and ideas – are shared over lunch. Similarly, regularly scheduled chats with friends in the PR and marketing industry provide a healthy dose of creativity with a dash of stress relief, which can be good for business, as well as a way to inject fun into the everyday.

Create a Brain Trust – I am very involved in the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Counselors Academy, which matches up peers throughout the industry, across the country and beyond, and provides a depth of resources. Make the most of your professional association memberships and take advantage of formal opportunities like this, when possible.

Whether it’s knowledge and inspiration you seek, or simply to recharge your batteries and renew your creativity, professional development and connections with others in your industry is beneficial.

How can you collaborate to strengthen not only your team, but also your industry?