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Monday, November 21, 2011

PR in Terms of Football

It is deep into football season and playoffs are on the way. As my family was talking stats and gearing up for today’s Vikings game versus the Green Bay Packers I got to thinking how similar a public relations team and campaign is to football. Both have to practice be for the big game day, both need to work as a team, and both have different players responsible to different parts of the overall objective.

Practice comes first for both teams. A football team needs to practice to prepare for the big game day. A public relations team needs to do secondary research and planning in order to have a successful launch of their campaign.

The coach will primarily direct practice, see to that everything is running smoothly and people are doing what they should be doing. The coach is in relation to the CEO. He will make all of the major calls for the team but ultimately leave them for the quarterback and rest of team to execute.

The Kickoff starts the game and is the first really big exciting part of the game. It fires up the fans and the rest of the team in preparation for the game, whether you think it will be and easy-win or an uphill battle. This is the big launch in a campaign, like the kickoff it gets everyone excited about what is to come.

During the game the quarterback has an extremely important role. He will direct the team and lead them to victory. He is who the players will look to for leadership and guidance. The quarter back is your lead campaign strategist. They are in charge of the campaign and directing where to go next.

Tactics during the campaign relate to game play. This is the body of the game and where you primarily do your scoring. If the entire game is your overall campaign then each play and each touchdown are your smaller tactics within the whole. These are your smaller scale events, press releases, promotions and other campaign awareness and involvement.

Wide receivers and running backs are the quarterback’s options. He can choose to throw or hand off the ball to these players. These positions are your contacts. These could be other professionals, that you have built a relationship with and know you can ask a favor of. These people will try their best to catch that ball for you.

On your team you also have offensive linemen and the defense squad. Offensive linemen are your coworkers who are keeping everything together so the campaign does not fall apart. They will be doing a lot of behind the scenes work. The defense squad is crisis management. They take over when you lose possession of the ball and need to regain control.

The final seconds of the game mark the end of your campaign, and like a close scoring game, a campaign with a large final impact makes for a memorable one. This could be a large event or a grand prize at the end of a contest.

After the game is over and all is said and done, the team will oftentimes review the game at the next practice. The coach will point out things that went well and mistakes that were made. Evaluation of a campaign is important to know how you can improve your future campaigns.

Teamwork is something we can learn as public relations professionals from any sports team. When everyone’s ultimate goal is the same working as a team can only make this an easier game to win.

Rachel Geertsema
University of Minnesota
Jour 3279
Blog Assignment