I was a cheerleader in high school (Go Vikings!). And it wasn’t because of the uniforms, because, really, yellow is not my color. But I loved being part of a group, showing appreciation for my team, celebrating their successes. We used to make posters for every player before a big game, decorate the houses of seniors the night before Thanksgiving, bring in loads of candy, and do a special jump or acrobatic move when the starting players took the field. Win or lose, we were there for our team. Our athletes knew it and appreciated it. They said it made them work harder for the win.
Since those SBHS days, I have kept that cheerleader mindset, spurring on my agency teams, recognizing the hard work of my in-house teams, and bringing S-P-I-R-I-T to my classes at BU. I do it for a lot of reasons. For the recipient, it feels good to be appreciated, rewarded, acknowledged. And for the team as a whole, it feels great to have a winner on board, and to play a role in that winner’s success.
These days, there’s a much easier way to show support for your most valuable PR players. The Publicity Club of New England has a few awards that recognize incredible efforts and accomplishments of PR practitioners. Think of them like the MVP trophies or Hall of Fame for the New England communication professionals. And there’s no uniform required.
We have the Striker Award for the young PR professional of the year (less than three years in the industry), the Ringer Award for the mid-level practitioner (5-12 years of experience), and the Crystal Bell for lifetime achievement. No need to break out posters and markers to show your support, either. Simply follow the nomination guidelines on the Web page for the specific award.
Then on the Bell Ringer Awards night, join in the fun, cheering on the winners. They will feel great, acknowledged by the hundreds of PR professionals in attendance. Check out Jennifer O’Toole’s thoughts on winning the 2016 Ringer Award. And you’ll feel good, too, for making it all happen. Go team!
(Note: there is no cheerleading experience required to nominate a PR pro. Nor should you hold it against the VP of Awards for her past cheerleading experience. We were all young once. That’s me, on the left, hugging one of my friends.)