When I worked in baseball for the St. Paul Saints professional team in St. Paul, MN, my favorite time of the day was right before the stadium opened on gameday. I had completed all my PR tasks for that day (e.g., releases, meet and greets, event plans) and had to shift gears to get ready to work community relations for the game that night. I would take a few minutes and go out into the empty stadium and just stare at the field. I didn’t know how we were going to play that night; if we were going to win or lose (and to be honest, I didn’t care). I just knew that I had completed my PR tasks and I could take a moment to simply look over the beautifully prepared field and just relax.
Every homestand the field would look different. The Midway Stadium grounds crew were artists. Sometimes they would mow a checkerboard into the field, sometimes large swirls. The pitcher’s mound would be pristine and the chalk lines would be unmarred. The stadium was quiet, still and clean — with no signs of the roaring crowds that would be there in just a few short hours. It was perfection.
I’m a huge Battlestar Galactica fan (yes, I’m a nerd:). When I heard Sam Anders‘ speech on perfection in the final episode of the show (Daybreak, part 1) it really resonated with me. That’s what I look for every day — out of myself, out of my colleagues and out of my students. If you’re not a fan of the show (or even know what it is) I still think this clip will resonate with you.
“What matters to me…it’s perfection. That’s what it’s about. It’s about those moments when you, when you can feel the perfection of creation… And that is the kind of perfection that I want to be connected to” (Sam Anders, BSG 2009).
This semester my PR Writing students have been using SCVNGR, a geolocation-based mobile application, in a service-learning project called Discover Baton Rouge. Teams of 4-5 students have created smartphone treks for local nonprofits (BREC, Baton Rouge Zoo, Hilltop Arboretum, Capitol Park Museum) and then created promotional materials to support the new mobile treks. I’ve been looking over some of the items they have created and am so impressed. They have done amazing work and should be proud of themselves.
It’s those moments, when you can look back over a job well-done and sigh… or just relax and admire something beautiful that make PR (and teaching) worthwhile.
Follow us on this journey via Facebook (Discover Baton Rouge with SCVNGR) and Twitter (@discoverBTR).