Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Work Lessons From Smash Bros.

Earlier this month I informed you all that I had a new job. Given that we're nearly 3 weeks into it, it's no longer new. But part of the amusing perks of the gig is being signed up for all of these PR, SEO, Marketing newsletters. They litter my work e-mail, and one caught my attention. I have to share it.

'3 PR Lessons from 'Super Smash Bros.'

Alternate take on how to look at the world of public relations. This should be interesting.

The article was written by Beth Adan, a publicist for Three Girls Media, Inc. The original story was featured on their blog, and it's chock-full of key words that it would make one's eyes bulge. She "recently" picked up her old N64 (did you have to call it old, Miss Adan?) and started playing, and it got her to think about how Smash could apply to the real world. You know, once you ignore the concept of Pokemon, apes throwing barrels, and fireballs shooting from the palm of your hand.

As a PR person, the points provided do hold importance. Focus on your strengths, collaborate, and use your time well. Easy, right?

But this is Smash. Just when you think you understand the logic of the game, you get side-swiped by an 8 year old playing as Jigglypuff and wonder what went wrong in your life for this to happen. If you're a non-gamer, then Adan's 3 point approach is comprehensive enough to not overwhelm the audience. If you're a gamer, then it's difficult to swallow.

Smash Bros. is a game that asks you to be versatile.While you can have a favorite character to play as, their strengths don't always work against your opponent. Samus and Olimar are not very good against Pikachu, of all things. You have to learn everyone's moves to optimize your strategy. It's not something that is feasible for every gamer, or every person in the real world, as a matter of fact. You can focus on your strengths, and you can thrive from them, but you also can't force your strengths as the framework if it doesn't fit into your career. Loud, boisterous, talkative is your trait, you probably won't fit at a desk or in an IT office.

As far as collaboration, well team work is important. Sure. Not in a Smash game or in a tournament. The game play is almost always 1 versus 1. It's you against the world, not a team against another team. And if you don't have a second player handy? There are digital recreations ready for an ass whooping. I don't think we have digital co-workers available for this function...not yet anyway.

Time management is one aspect I can agree with in regards to PR work and Smash, to an extent. When you have a timed fight, you only have X amount of seconds to knock out your opponent. You have to strategize how to effectively utilize your precious seconds. And then Mario throws a curve ball by whacking you with a hammer, and now your scrambling as Snake to make quick decisions to win the match. Managing your day is important. It's one thing I'll preach. But with Smash it's not about having a set schedule, but how to adjust to last minute meetings and decisions that interrupt your day. Your best laid plans can be thrown aside once Fox ground-pounds your avatar's face to the ground.

I'm all for the gaming analogies to tie them into our work-place, but would it hurt to ask a gamer if the points are feasible within the game universe?

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