From The Rock

How to Win Angry Birds

By | January 31, 2014

Yes, I am referring to the adolescent video game, Angry Birds,which is a popular item in the iTunes app store. The skills needed to defeat the game are similar to the skills you need to avoid becoming an “angry bird” when dealing with frustrating situations. For those unfamiliar with the video game, click here to watch this how-to video that explains the game.
 
In the world of public relations, a normal day when everything you had planned goes accordingly is rare. Due to this, PR professionals need to be ready to deal with frustrating situations. According to an article on NBC news, a PR executive is the fifth most stressful job following enlisted military personnel, military general, firefighter and commercial airline pilot. One of the reasons this career can be stressful is because you have to flexible when problems or urgent matters occur. 
 
Flexibility is a trait that is rarely natural, but easy to learn. It starts with awareness. If you decide to go into the field of PR, you need to be aware that you have to be flexible. Let me repeat that for emphasis: you have to be flexible. You have to assume that most plans will not go accordingly, and you have to have a back-up plan. 
 
In the game of Angry Birds, you have to strategize on what type of bird will be used, in what order and where you are going to fling the birds in order to win the level. There are two main goals per level that you can craft your strategy toward: completing the level with the goal of moving to the next level or beating the level by obtaining the most possible points. 
 
Imagine you have been playing and replaying a level for 30 minutes, and you finally have done well enough to be able to complete it by strategically using the one bird you have left to destroy the somewhat difficult target that remains. You’ve carefully chosen which bird would be used, and your finger is on the screen carefully placing the bird in the perfect angle to hit the target. And then, your dog runs into the room, jumps on your lap and interrupts your game. You lift your finger off the screen, letting the bird fly aimlessly into oblivion and failing the level. This would be frustrating, right? 
 
In this type of situation, you need to remain calm and focused on your goal. If you get upset or give up, you have not only failed the level, but you have turned into an “angry bird” and failed yourself.
 
When a frustrating event of this kind happens in the PR profession, you need to be extremely cautious of your next steps in order to avoid being an “angry bird.” When you get an email from a client about a pitch you have been working on with a reporter for a week, and they decide they don’t want to discuss that issue, your first reaction may be to reply in frustration, using words you would probably be apologizing for later.  Let’s be honest, we all have typed out that extremely rude email reply that we had no intention of ever sending. 
 
However, your reaction to a frustrating situation with a client, co-worker or reporter really can make or break you. There are many different ways to relieve this stress quickly so you can get back to your job and be productive. Also, there are many ways you can manage your outlook on your workload and be proactive in avoiding stress. Below are some helpful tips to be aware of and utilize to help relieve stress at work. Click here to to read the complete article on Forbes.com.
 
  1. Act Rather Than React
  2. Take a Deep Breath
  3. Eliminate Interruptions
  4. Schedule Your Day For Energy And Focus
  5. Eat Right and Sleep Well
  6. Change Your Story
  7. Cool Down Quickly
  8. Identify Self-Imposed Stress
  9. Prioritize Your Priorities
  10. Reset The Panic Button
  11. Influence Others
  12. Be Your Own Best Critic
 
So, the answer to the question, “How do you win in Angry Birds?” is simple. Learn to be flexible when a situation arises, be cautious of your reaction and accept that you have chosen to endeavor on a task that requires patience. Whether you are flinging birds or trying to get the word out there about your client, these pointers can help you to succeed in stressful situations. On the upside, even though a career in PR can be stressful at times, it is very rewarding because it gives you the unique opportunity to be creative, learn a lot and make change happen!