Taking a page out of football’s playbook for PR

With football season in high gear, the Schwartz Media Strategies crew has been following along our favorite teams and players. From the vintage Bert Jones posters lining our walls to our CEO Tadd Schwartz’s words of wisdom, football plays a big role in our office.  And, we think there are a lot public relations lessons professionals can learn from the players on the field.

Bert Jones NFL

Here are our top tips from the football field:

  1. Practice is essential.  Every athlete practices before a big game and the same goes for public relations practitioners.  Reviewing a pitch or proposal before a phone call, important meeting or interview is key to success.  The same goes for our clients when we prepare them for a phone call with a member of the media.
  2. Check the tape. Teams meet every week to review video for the previous game.  What worked?  What didn’t work?  Did someone get sacked? If your pitch or your marketing initiative falls flat, go back to your team and review it.  A good brainstorm session can fix almost anything.
  3. Enact a game plan.  Teams often develop specialized game plans tailored to their opponents. In PR it’s essential that you have a specific strategy tailored to reaching your key audiences.
  4. Be on the offensive.  If you only play a defensive game, it’s impossible to win.  Same goes for public relations.  If you aren’t coming up with new story lines, pitching ideas and strategizing how to get your clients into the next big story, you aren’t winning.
  5. Precision is often better than speed. Being precise is essential in football, whether it is a quarterback’s pass or a receiver running a route.  Slow down!  It is always better to make sure you do it right instead of speed through.  From a tweet to an email, taking your time to think through and check for careless mistakes is important, especially since errors in public relations are often documented and difficult to forget.
  6. Stay hungry. Coaches are challenged with keeping their players motivated and the same goes with public relations.  Every day we come into the office ready to move the needle for our client.  It’s important to remember while you may have of landed the New York Times yesterday, clients want to know what you are doing for them today. Always look for how you can do more, stay creative and then nothing will stand between you and your touchdown!

One more tip we have to add, always have an ice cold beer in the fridge.  That is just the law whether you are watching football or working at Schwartz Media.  Cheers!