3 ways board games should inspire your 2014 PR goals

Games like Monopoly, Sorry and Concentration can do more than help you pass a cold afternoon in January. They can also provide inspiration for your PR New Year’s resolutions.

Can you believe it’s already 2014?

I hate to admit it, but it still feels like 2004 to me—or maybe I’m just regressing.

You can always count on the end of one year and the start of the next for a plethora of posts on communications resolutions, roundups, look backs, look aheads and other slate-cleaning thoughts.

Whenever I think of clean slates, I harken back to my fifth-grade teacher who, on the first day of class, held up a blank piece of paper and said whatever run-ins she may have had with any of us in the past didn’t matter anymore.

She began each new class with a tabula rasa. The 10-year-old me was glad she did.

That reminded me a bit of the board game Monopoly; a fresh start is equivalent to a get-out-of-jail-free card. I liked it.

A clean slate offers you the chance to change. It lets you clear your imagination for all the wonderful new things you want to learn, teach and do.

Communications insights and board games

In the spirit of the great tabula rasa of my youth, here are three things I’m adding to my own clean communications slate—er, screen—in 2014, in the form of kid’s board games:

1. Sorry

With the speed of our digital communications world, defensiveness and bad judgment are never good excuses. They often cause irreparable harm to reputations—reputations we’ve worked hard to build.

Don’t be like Rob Ford, the mayor of Toronto. In a crisis, step up early, accept responsibility for your actions, embrace the sincere apology and learn from your mistakes.

2. Concentration

It’s easy to piddle away time on social media—that is, endlessly flit from one thing to the next without accomplishing a heck of a lot. We’re all guilty of constant partial attention, but if we want to accomplish anything significant, let’s give our full attention to the tasks at hand. It’s amazing what we can accomplish in 30 focused minutes and a schedule.

3. Etch-a-Scrabble

This one doesn’t exist yet. I’m using it as a metaphor for becoming as good at telling stories with pictures as I am with words. Communication uses all the senses. Rather than adopting a visual versus verbal mindset, we should integrate photography and video with our writing skills. Or, if you’re not a particularly strong writer, visual mediums offer a whole slew of opportunities.

What games would you add to your communications slate in 2014? Why?

Martin Waxman is executive vice president for Thornley Fallis. A version of this article originally appeared on Spin Sucks.

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Topics: PR

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