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.