Note: These article reviews are being completed for my PR Campaigns class; however, I feel as though these PR articles are too interesting not to share. I hope you learn as much from them as I did! Links to the articles are provided below.
Manocchio, A. (2014, Aug. 26). “5 PR lessons from fantasy football.” PR Daily. Retrieved 27 Aug. 2014 from http://www.prdaily.com/mediarelations/Articles/17144.aspx
In honor of the ever popular Fantasy Football season, I chose my article review to be based on Alexa Manocchio’s “5 PR Lessons From Fantasy Football.”
This article wittily compares PR to the lessons learned from fantasy football using sporty terms and team analogies. First of all, she states that it is important for a PR person to “know his/her stats.” Just like in football, there are people that are incredibly skilled in certain areas of their work and others who may be better doing another task. In understanding the people with whom you work, you can be effective in your message by doing your research. This can apply to both people and publications.
Targeting your message to a specific beat reporter will most likely be much more successful than giving a generalized release to a wide variety of people. Along the same lines, be intentional in your publication choice. What will be the most beneficial to your client? What has worked in the past? In understanding the “stats” of those with whom you’re dealing, your PR strategies will be much more effective.
Manocchio’s second fantasy football lesson is that you could “lose on any given Sunday.” This addresses the idea that in PR, you can have an upset/incident regardless of how prepared you are. Things will occasionally happen. If something unforeseen occurs, your energy needs to be refocused into learning from the mistake and addressing the issue in the future.
The third lesson the author gives is one that is especially relevant to our communication strategies today – “stay up to the minute.” There are constantly things happening in the world of communications – be it mergers, events, crises, or huge stories. If you do not stay engaged, or on top of what is going on in the world around you, you (and your client) may miss out on the chance to be included. Staying current with what is happening in the industry will not only benefit your clients and their best interests, but also will allow you to be more effective in your public relations – making you a much more valuable asset.
The fourth fantasy football lesson that we’re given is based on the importance of interactivity. People do not want to feel as though they are bystanders to the action. A great (and unintentional) example of the importance of interactivity can be seen with the recent spike in donations to ALSA via the ice bucket challenge. People want to have the chance to take part in something where they feel as though they are needed, they are valued, and they make a difference. PR campaigns that engage the public are generally much more successful than those with a side-lined audience. With the introduction of interactivity, the PR effort is much more targeted and intentional, allowing the company to better engage customers.
Finally, Manocchio’s fifth fantasy football lesson is that “collaboration leads to wins.” This plays somewhat into the first lesson, as understanding the strengths and weaknesses of those with whom you work will make your end result much more successful. Collaboration brings fresh ideas, thorough plans, and new perspectives that may be otherwise overlooked. This also could be collaboration with your client; understanding the company’s goals and desires for the campaign will give insight on how to address it strategically. When each of these individual elements are given attention, the communication is directed toward the end goal.
I thought that this article made a lot of great points. It is important to address that much of PR is based in thoughtful, well-researched, calculated and strategic decisions rather than rash choices. Staying current is especially crucial, as there are constant decisions and opportunities that affect the choices you would need to make for a client. In conjunction with staying in-the-know comes the concept of interactivity. A good PR person would see the effects/success of an interactive PR campaign (because they did their up-to-the-minute research!) as compared to one that did not engage the audience; he or she could choose a course of action from this point. In this way, all of these elements are interwoven when considering how to build a successful PR campaign.