The ‘Final Four’ Lessons for your Public Relations Campaign
March provides some of the most awaited events of the year. While the weather begins to warm, St. Patrick’s Day looms in the distance, and spring cleaning calls our attention, most Public Relation firms will be sitting on the edge of their seat.
Why is that?
It is the overwhelming excitement of March Madness and the nationwide hoop fever that is instigated the day the brackets are announced. Bracketology is broken down on the minutest scale to predict who will make a run for the NCAA Championship. As we follow teams on their journey to the ‘Final Four’ (cough cough…UCLA) they can provide amazing lessons on the day-to-day operations a Public Relations firm experience.
- Make a game plan
Every team that is selected for the tournament comes in with a game plan; similar to how Public Relations firms create communication strategies that need to be arranged and verbalized to the whole team. All of the players on the team must understand the basis of the organization and their motives to pursue a championship title. While researching these objectives, like when a team watches their opponent’s game film, it is pertinent to identify the message intended for all audiences available. Planning ahead of time can be the difference between a Public Relations success and a catastrophe.
- Time is of the essence
Basketball is a fast-paced game and any mental lapse or loss of focus can be detrimental to the team. In Public Relations, time has a high value and when opportunities are presented, they must be taken advantage of. An example would be accurately representing and reaching your target audience through a certain type of social media. The message will create a profound effect if it can reach its audience with efficiency and action.
- Don’t forget about the secret weapon
Every game throughout the tournament has ebbs and flows of momentum that swing to each team. The element of surprise allows a key shifting point and transition of momentum in the game. Although consistency and a well-managed schedule are necessary to success, a new and spontaneous campaign can produce similar results. Creativity regenerates a Public Relations campaign and with enough energy, it can also be a viable alternative hidden up your sleeve.
- It’s okay to celebrate
Whether it is a windmill dunk between two players or a half court buzzer-beater, the audience remembers the most memorable and flashy plays. Sharing achievements amongst your peers, customers, clients and employees provokes that positive coverage. A “highlight reel” could be sent out on the firm’s email list as an update for clients on the status of the firm. The leverage to promote success should be used when possible, with a respectable sportsmanship that limits the arrogance of the tone.
Many teams that are considered the most talented in the tournament do not win the championship. Just like Public Relations, this is a daily mission to improve, adapt, and plan for future challenges. If this year’s championship game is anything like Villanova’s incredible buzzer-beater win over North Carolina, then we are in for a treat. Go UCLA!