Before I started my career in public relations, I played basketball for my high school team. You could say basketball was my first passion, which is why I’m merging it with my love for public relations in this blog post.
Just like basketball, PR is fast-moving and challenging. Roles as an athlete and a PR professional both require an overall understanding of a team’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as quick, strategic thinking.
In celebration of the Final Four games this weekend (and our busted brackets), here are four tips you can take to the basketball court or your next PR campaign.
1. Be prepared with a game plan.
Success is dependent on a well thought-out strategy. What is your team’s goal? To make 90 percent of its free throws? To earn up to one million impressions on a campaign? Whatever your objective is, you need to have a clear understanding and plan to achieve it.
2. Take a good shot when you have it.
In basketball, you don’t have a lot of time to react, so when you have a good shot, take it. Likewise, in PR, you have to be ready and willing to jump on a good opportunity. Take notes from Arby’s tweet during the Grammy’s about Pharrell’s hat. Now that’s what I call a PR slam dunk.
3. Avoid pointless fouls.
When you foul out in a basketball, you’re benched for the remainder of the game. In PR, you don’t get five chances to impress a reporter or potential client. Don’t foul out on a media lunch or new business pitch. Make sure you have an interesting story idea to share or the experience and skills that will benefit a prospective client’s business, and definitely don’t waste anyone’s time.
4. Don’t be afraid to show off your skills.
There’s no need to be shy on the court or in your PR career. Every once in a while, it’s OK to parade after a good play or do a crazy dunk on an open court following a steal. It’s the same in PR. If you secure a national media hit for a client or win a PRSA award, celebrate it. Share your achievements with colleagues, clients and social media.
Photo Credit: Thomas Leuthard