What Taboo Taught Me About Public Relations

May 4, 2013

By: Ali
I have always been a strong proponent of the real-life applications of board and card games. They provide a chance for us to test out our competitive drive and quick decision-making skills, usually without the pressure of potentially bringing your career crashing down (I'm looking at you, professional poker players), and sometimes even boosting your career.
At an office game night last week, after many rounds of Taboo, Pit and Apples to Apples, I couldn't help but notice the striking similarities between the skill set required for success with these games and the skill set required for a successful PR professiona:

  1. Perseverance – In Taboo, you need to describe the word on the card without using any of the commonly associated words listed below it. It is a difficult challenge, but very doable for those who demonstrate a little determination. If your first attempt doesn't quite work, you find a new way to go after what you want.
  2. Creativity – In Apples to Apples, each player chooses a noun from her seven cards to be associated with the adjective in the center. The connections are usually far from obvious, but often the winning pair is the most outrageous. This goes to show that thinking out of the box can get you the results that traditional methods don't always achieve.
  3. Confidence – In Pit, there is essentially a free-for-all of card trading not unlike the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. If you timidly hold out two cards and simply wait for someone to take them, you will be waiting an embarrassingly long time. Boldly throw them on the table and speak with the tone of someone who knows beyond any doubt that the cards are valuable and desirable, and suddenly the offers will come pouring in. Or at least someone will take those two off your hands.

With these parallels in mind, maybe we should all be taking a little more time for game nights. After all, can't you mark it on the calendar as “training?”
Which games do you think have career-building benefits?

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