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New York Knicks’ guard Jeremy Lin sits on the bench in obscurity until an injury to another player gives him an opportunity.  He promptly leads the Knicks to seven straight wins, becomes an international phenomenon and posts a record for most points in the first five games as an NBA starter.

Green Bay Packers’ backup quarterback Matt Flynn watched from the sidelines as NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers led the Packers to a 14-1 record.  Rodgers was given a day off against the Detroit Lions, and Flynn stepped in to deliver six touchdown passes and a Packers’ win.

Is your bench deep enough?  Does your company have the depth needed to be successful every day?

It’s not just in sports where there are people waiting for the chance to show their stuff.  There are countless interns, account coordinators or junior account executives with tremendous skills and talents who are capable of taking the next step toward stardom.

Professional development in any industry is key to the success of the entire team.

For us, the PRSA’s Phoenix Chapter has a new pros group, providing professional development opportunities, along with a relationship-based connection to the industry.

Mid-level practitioners have many options, as well, for seminars, webinars or other continuing education opportunities.

More seasoned PR pros have access to the PRSA’s Counselor’s Academy, where members meet to share information and best-practices designed to improve agency operations, new business development and company profitability.

And for the old-timers in our industry, the PRSA’s College of Fellows offers mentoring and other guidance to help nurture the careers of others in public relations.

But it’s not just organizations like the PRSA that offer professional development.  What does your industry do for you – and is your company committed to having a strong bench?


Scott Hanson
Scott Hanson
President Scott is president of HMA Public Relations and a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network. He’s a Phoenix native, husband, father of two and a fan of all sports and a participant in some. Check out Scott's full bio


  1. Katie Snyder says:

    Scott, great post! You really put the importance of professional development into perspective.

    Everyone has something to bring to a team. Jeremy Lin is a great example of someone who got the right opportunity, at the right time to showcase his talents to the world and really do something significant in professional basketball.

    Prior to him even joining the Knicks he was actually rejected by two other teams. (I bet those teams are wishing they thought twice about getting rid of him). While many people doubted his abilities as a player and as a leader at the point guard position, he seized the opportunity to show the world what he can do and has since become the talk of the town.

    In short, I am thankful that there are organizations and companies out there (like HMA) that are willing to take in students and eager learners (like myself) and help build the skills needed to be successful in the public relations industry. Thanks guys!

  2. Stephanie Lough says:

    …I feel a John Fogerty song coming on.

  3. Great analogy! And you just never know where your superstars are going to come from. “Put me in coach, I’m ready to play….”

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