27 February 2013
Chelsey Palmer, Account Executive

From the netball court to the office

Netball goal

As with any industry, it is always important to consider what skill set you will need. Having pondered this from the perspective of my job in public relations at Westgate Communications, I have now come to the conclusion that there are a number of skills needed in my working life that are transferrable from my life outside the office.

Long before starting at Westgate, I have played netball and around two years ago, I was given the fantastic opportunity to take over the running of a team called Angels. The team has since gone from strength to strength, and I’m proud to say, has risen from division three to division one (the top division!). This opportunity has allowed me to use a range of new skills, some of which I have been able to draw on for my working life:

1. Leadership – Leadership and teamwork have been vital to the success of my netball team and it is hugely important when running a netball team. Angels has a manager, captain and vice-captain, to ensure the smooth running and success of the team. Leadership is a very important skill across a number of business disciplines and public relations is no exception. At Westgate, each member of the team is responsible for different aspects of the day-to-day running of an account and to make sure that clients are kept up-to-date and aware of the work the team is doing. Whether sending out a press release, organising a meeting with a journalist or collating coverage, it is always important to take charge of the roles you have been given.

2. Organisation – When running a netball team, I have to make sure that seven people arrive at a specific time every Tuesday evening. This can sometimes be a challenging task when commitments from other team players conflict with the match. Organisation is key to ensure we have a full team on the night. This is much like life in the office, where client and journalist meetings are booked into the diary and we need to ensure that we have the right amount of support in the office and that meetings do not clash. Our Monday morning diary meeting means we can manage the whereabouts of the team and ensure a coordinated team response to client requests at all times. 

3. Communication – Communication plays a key role when running a netball team as it ensures we have a full line-up every week. If, for instance, a team member drops out last minute due to illness or prior commitments, they will let me know and then I am able to organise another player to ensure the team is still able to play at full strength. The same principles apply in our office to ensure the different client teams run smoothly and we make sure that each client team meets weekly. Ensuring communication remains high, be it between players and their captain or account directors, managers and executives, is vitally important to ensure a smooth running team.

Taking all this into consideration, it is always important to take the skills and knowledge you gain from your personal life and transfer them in your working life, because you never know how this can help and build your future success.



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