For me, the song, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” applies to both Christmas and football season—and I know I’m not alone in that sentiment! My weekends are spent either in a stadium or in front of my TV soaking it all in, and it’s impossible to ignore all the factors that go into every single football game: hours of practices, additional workouts, weekly film sessions, and more. What’s more, I get to put many of those same lessons into practice at work as a marketer! Here are five lessons from football that can be applied to public relations:
5 PR Lessons We Can Learn From Football Season
1. Look to the Coach
Nothing creates confidence in a team more than a capable coach. Everyone in the stadium is depending on the coach to make the best decisions for the team. While the players clearly know their craft, they still look to the coach for guidance before each snap of the ball. The best coaches are humble, decisive and educated. PR professionals, you should be playing that role for your brands! The definition of a coach is, “a trainer or instructor.” Our job as public relations professionals is to offer instruction and guidance to our clients for them to make the best decision for the brand.
2. Pay Attention to Stats
Players, and especially coaches, are always aware of stats. From the outside looking in, one of the best ways to judge a player’s ability is to look at his or her stats. In order for PR professionals to discern which of our efforts have been successful, we need to do the same. At the start of each month, our team looks back to create an analytics report for our clients. While we provide this service for our clients, it is equally beneficial for the team at DMA. Each month, we are paying attention to our stats to see which areas need more attention, which efforts were successful and which efforts we need to reevaluate. Using our stats to stay on top of our goals is key for success!
3. Engage With Your Fans
Growing up, one of my favorite parts of attending football games was my dad getting me to the stadium extra early to watch the players and spirit squads warm up. While I may not have cared about the logistics of football at a young age, I definitely cared when the cheerleaders would come over to take a picture or hang out with me for a few minutes. Why not take this same approach with public relations? When fans comment on our brands’ social media posts, we need to engage with them.
Pro tip: establishing an influencer program is another great way to engage with fans! Influencers already have a fan base, so creating a partnership between a brand and an influencer is a great way to merge two fan bases and create a space for fans to feel included.
4. Learn From the Losses
Coaches aren’t perfect, players aren’t perfect…and neither are marketers. How coaches and players handle a loss is important. If the team can learn from the loss and be better prepared for the next game, the chances of winning are much higher than if the team decides to just hang their heads low. When one of our public relations ideas doesn’t create the win we might have hoped, our job is to take on the role of a coach. We need to talk to our team, decide what needs to be fixed and then rally!
5. Celebrate the Victories
Is there anything better than 70,000+ people all celebrating the same thing at the same time? One of my favorite things about DMA is our excitement to cheer each other on. When someone celebrates a victory, we all celebrate the victory. When our clients celebrate a victory, we celebrate with them. PR professionals are always looking ahead to the next “game,” if you will, but it is important to stop after a win and celebrate. Pay attention to what led to the success and find ways to implement that in the future. We could all be better about stopping to celebrate the victories…just maybe save the Gatorade shower for another time.
While not everyone shares our excitement for football season, I think we can all appreciate some of the lessons football offers. Let’s cheer for our teams this season while cheering on the brands we represent!
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