HowTo Work On Group Projects
PR practitioners almost never work alone, whether they work in a PR consultancy or do in-house PR they have to work in a team. Nobody can plan a campaign on their own, this is why PR people have to learn how to work with others and how to build a good team. This is why students doing PR courses have a lot of group projects throughout the course. It is never an easy task, especially if you work with people you do not know well. However, people often underestimate how much they can learn from others. Students really become much better at what they are doing when they work together. Here are some tips that can help you build a good team and make your team’s work much easier.
1. Think of a general idea of a project
Make sure you are all on the same page. Ask your team members how they see the project, how they would want it to look like, where they want to get with it. You have to make sure that you all know what you are doing.
2. Make sure everyone has been allocated the right role
At one of the first meetings, talk to your team members about what they are mostly interested in doing for the project, what they are good at? People are usually more enthusiastic and work better when they can do something that interests them. Also think who feels most comfortable in what role e.g. do not make the shyest person your front speaker, he/she will not feel comfortable with it and your audience will realise that.
3. Set up meetings
If it is possible, set one or two days a week when you are all going to meet, to discuss your work. If it is not possible, make sure that at the end of every meeting you set up the next one.
4. Stay in touch
You should meet regularly to work on your project, however you should all stay in touch between the meetings and inform the rest of the group about the progress, new issues might occur on the way or possible delays in delivering your work.
5. Help each other
Even though you should all have specific roles and everyone should take care of a different part of the project, you should all help each other. Whilst you are doing your research, you have found some information or a website that might not be useful to you, but can be helpful to some other team members, make sure you send it to them – remember that you are a group and you all work on the same project.
6. Do not criticise
Do not criticise other members and their work. However, if you do not like something about the group project do not be afraid to say it. Make sure you are polite and that you have constructive arguments. Also, when you say what you do not like, say what according to you, the solutions should be. Remember that everyone makes mistakes and that group work will never go exactly as planned, so make space for mistakes and delays.
7. Make compromises
Be open to make compromises. You will never be able to agree on everything all the time with your team members. Try discuss issues with the group, let everyone say what they think and try to find a solution or a compromise that will suit most of you and most importantly will be good for the project. There will be many situations when someone will have to step aside and agree for the solution they do not like. A useful solution is voting, after discussing a problem, make sure everyone will get a chance to vote and see which solution is preferred by most people. Do not get angry at each other if you will not get what you want – this is the only fair way.
8. Make notes
It is very useful when everyone takes notes, not only about their tasks, but also about things that others need to do or have done. In this way you know exactly who is doing what. If it is possible, ask one person to make notes on every meeting for the entire group so you can always go back and see what has been done and what you still need to work on.
9. Plan you next meeting
At the end of each meeting make a list of topics and issues you need to discuss at the next meeting. It will allow you to structure and plan your work step by step. Between meetings, new issues may come up so make sure you put them on the list too.
10. Be enthusiastic
It is calmer and easier to work in a nice environment, but of course, it is not always possible to stay enthusiastic and calm, especially if the situation is stressful. However, try to be nice to each other and even when you are all tired, make little breaks if the meeting carry on for too long and try to do something nice together – have lunch, get to know each other, and do not talk about the project during the break, relax! And remember even if something goes wrong it is not the end of the world!
Hope you enjoyed reading this article. Feel free to leave a comment and have your opinion or share your experiences about group work to studyPR.co.uk