After the tragedy, chaos & overall exhausting nature of last week here in Boston, when SM&'s game night rolled around, I was more than ready to embrace the chance to unwind, share some laughs, and of course, partake in a few rounds of good, old fashioned corn hole. Now, tossing bean bags toward a slanted, wooden board may not seem like it would present the perfect teaching moment, but the SM& game night ended up being an opportunity to think outside of the box and draw a few lighthearted, yet meaningful, connections between playing games and public relations. First, whether you are playing a round of corn hole or writing a press release, practice makes perfect. We've all heard this popular mantra throughout our lives, but as far as game-playing and PR goes, it couldn't be more true. As a new PR practitioner, I have learned that the more I practice my writing, speaking, organization and time-management skills, the more comfortable I become with them. Similarly, at last night's game night, my first bean bag toss miserably fell two feet to the left of the board, missing the target completely. By the second round, however, I felt more confident and realized that each toss showed improvement. Practice might not guarantee "perfection," but it will lead to growth. Second, in both game-playing and the field of public relations, maintaining good humor and a sense of patience will reap great reward. It may be frustrating when a round of corn hole or Apples to Apples is simply not going your way; it may be frustrating when you just cannot think of the perfect headline for a press release; it may be frustrating when you have spent all morning trying to reach someone on the phone but you just aren't getting through. However, in all of these unique circumstances, taking a deep breathe, stepping away from the situation, and even breaking out your cheeriest smile can help you overcome your challenge. Third, playing games and practicing public relations have taught me that while personal triumphs and successes are great and incredibly important to individual growth, working together as a team is equally (if not more) fun and rewarding, and it presents the great opportunity to soak up the knowledge and lessons others have to offer. During SM& game night, playing corn hole was a team effort, and I learned the tricks of the trade from the more experienced players. Likewise, during my first months here at SM&, I have relied on my supportive team members to help me learn the ins and outs of public relations, from writing to communicating with clients to maximizing social media and much, much more. And last, always remember – at game night, in the public relations field, and life in general, it's not always about the score, it's about starting meaningful conversations and lasting relationships with the people around you.