Marijane Funess June 16, 2011 | 04:43:02

All Work And No Play, In PR? No Way!

Want to know one of the secrets to improving your PR skills? Play! The right kind of play incorporated into your day can help relieve stress, heighten creativity and problem-solving skills as well as make you more comfortable in social situations.

Stuart Brown of the National Institute for Play has actually demonstrated the active presence of play in the accomplishments of the very successful and also identified negative consequences that inevitably accumulate in a play-deprived life.

Who wants to be play-deprived anyway? But what are the “right kinds of play” to help you be more successful in PR? Dr. Brown has identified several; here are some of the most relevant to those in the PR trade:

Storytelling When you come in to the office on Monday and regale your officemates with a wonderful weekend story, repeat the latest gossip from TMZ or just tell a really funny joke – you are storytelling. Good, focused, well-paced storytelling helps your presentation skills, whether you’re presenting to a new client prospect; conducting a national publicity campaign  or doing internal work.

Imaginative Play And you thought playing COD or the Sims had no intrinsic value! Role-playing games or even karaoke – any situation in which you are “acting” can help prepare you for many work scenarios, especially tough interactions or first-time experiences. Think about that the next time you are facing an enemy avatar.

Object Play You want to be a more innovative problem-solver? Solve some word or number problems. The more regularly you play word games like Scrabble, NPR’s weekly puzzle, or number games like KenKen or Sudoku, the more you are “exercising” your brain for the challenges facing a busy New York PR firm.

Social Play Do you get together for game night? OK, how about Beer Pong or darts at your favorite bar? Each of these social games helps you engage better with co-workers, clients, tough media contacts or anyone with whom improved social skills are an asset.

What is your favorite way to play?

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