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PR and Pro Athletes: What Do They Have in Common?

Although these industries might seem a football field’s length away from one another, those working in the PR industry might be surprised to learn that they share many of the same qualities with professional athletes.
In the world of professional sports, athletes are constantly faced with not only physical challenges, but mental challenges as well. Quarterbacks are forced to quickly remember alternate play options, base runners must make difficult decisions whether or not to commit to stealing bases, and golfers practice the same pre-swing rituals each before each and every hole.

Here are five examples of how PR pros and athletes are neck and neck in their professions:

1. They are always working toward reaching their next goal
It’s a well-known fact that Michael Jordan got cut from his JV high school basketball team. It was with drive, determination and countless hours of practice that has garnered MJ as one of the most talented athletes of all time.
Similar drive and focus can be found in the work of PR professionals. In the case of pitching, crafting the perfect pitch takes countless hours of practice, perfection and more often than not – rejection. Instead of giving up, constant practice has divided the quitters from the “greats” in any hall of fame.

2. Pros require outstanding leadership
Whether you’re an account manager of a PR firm or a general manager in the Majors, the responsibility to constantly motivate and challenge your team is yours. A strong leader who understands and utilizes individual strengths is crucial in finishing the season with a winning record.

3. Strategy, strategy, strategy!
Playbooks and planning serve as the foundation for any successful season and campaign. Both require time, patience and concentration in laying out a plan that is going to secure a “W” at the end of the day.

4. They are always watching the clock
Just like an NBA or WNBA team always knows to have their eye on the 24 second shot clock, the same goes in the event of a client crisis. When a client’s reputation is at stake, time is of the essence. PR teams have to work with their own “shot clocks” to send the right messages to the right outlets – before it’s too late.

So whether you start your mornings off by lacing up your cleats or opening your laptop, both professional athletes and PR pros must practice quick reflexes, strategy and determination to clear the day’s hurdles.

Legal Image Takes First Place in San Diego Press Club’s Excellence in Journalism Awards

Legal Image, a division of Heying & Associates in San Diego, took home first place in the San Diego Press Club’s Annual Excellence in Journalism Awards for a website behalf of client Cahill & Campitiello, a Carlsbad law firm.

“Our goal from the very beginning was to take the Cahill & Campitiello site to the next level, pushing the envelope to illustrate the point that this is not typical your law firm website,” said Jan Heying, President of San Diego-based Heying & Associates. “C&C isn’t your traditional law firm, and they aren’t afraid of taking risks. We knew their website had to absolutely reflect their unique practice and approach to working with clients and we think we hit the mark.”

Among the largest regional competitions in the United States, the San Diego Press Club’s Excellence in Journalism Awards honors journalists and public relations professionals for work in print, broadcast and online journalism. With more than 1,300 entries, awards were presented in 136 categories. The judges included journalist from Press Club’s from throughout the country. The San Diego Press Club was founded in 1973 and has more than 400 members.

To check out the C&C site, visit

Celebrities: Good for Your Brand?

If your company is given the opportunity to choose a celebrity to sell your products, it could serve as a gateway to raise awareness of your brand image and even influence sales. However, your company can be in trouble if it chooses the wrong celebrity or, if the celebrity or individual you selected turns out to be someone you didn’t know they really were.

Take the recent scandal of Subway’s Jared Fogle, for example. In the past, Fogle served as inspiring proof that a “Subway diet” can lead to a healthy and delicious lifestyle. His massive weight loss while on the Subway diet became an inspiration to millions of us.  However, when Fogle himself was involved in an illegal scandal that ultimately tainted Subway’s brand name, the company suffered severe reputation harm.  Who knows if Subway will ever be able to regain the market position they held for so many years due to their “celebrity” connection.

Selecting a celebrity to represent your company can be an extremely complicated and tricky task—your company must take into consideration what type of brand image it is aiming for, and how the respective celebrity may potentially influence this reputation. The celebrity must have complementing values, characteristics, and morals in order for the partnership to be successful, and more often than not, if done right, it can serve as an enormous booster for your company’s image. Take Burberry’s success, for instance. This fashion giant partnered up with Emma Watson, who flaunted their iconic trench coats and plaid patterned handbags while sporting a chic, modern haircut in their fashion campaign. Watson’s already admired reputation of being a powerful and influential female figures aided Burberry’s brand image, as people all across the globe now associate the poise and charisma of Emma Watson with Burberry’s classic styles. This perfect partnership helped the company earn more than 245 million dollars in profit that year, nearly 25% higher than in the prior year.

The pairing of celebrities with your company can either be a match made in heaven, or a matched made in — well, you know where.  If you are considering using a celebrity, or even making someone into a celebrity through your brand, be sure you do your homework first.

H&A Chows Down!

Congratulations to the culinary arts students of Garfield High School for preparing yet another delicious Thanksgiving feast at the 18th Annual Garfield High School Gourmet Thanksgiving Luncheon at The Prado in Balboa Park. Each year, students are able to show off their true culinary skills, demonstrating what can be accomplished outside a traditional learning environment.

H&A has proudly supported the Garfield High School Foundation since the event first started 18 years ago.

Happy Thanksgiving!

How to Write an Effective Headline

As writers, we are only given a few seconds to grab the attention of our audience. This is why it is important for us create attention-grabbing headlines that encourage your target audience to continue reading. It does not matter how great or newsworthy your story is – without a captivating headline, your story may never receive the traffic it deserves.

What makes a good headline?  Click here to learn a few interesting facts.