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What PR Pros Can Learn From College Football

Allison Ward

College football season is back and plenty of people are consumed by it every Saturday. Here are a few practical ways to take what you see on the weekend and apply it to your weekly gig as a PR pro:

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Bounce Back After Failures

Great teams show up week after week, ready to play and don’t let losses discourage them from improvement. Oftentimes, people are so afraid of failing they avoid trying new things. But this is what leads to new discoveries and growth, two valuable things in the business world. Don’t let misses throw you off track. Take a good look at what went wrong, learn from it and know what to do better next time for a win.

Be Flexible

Things go wrong on the football field all the time, but the best players know how to adapt. Always approach your work with a plan, but be flexible enough to change it as the circumstances do the same. Be prepared to “call an audible” if needed and don’t let it derail your work.

Set Your Team Up for Success

Everyone has heard that practice makes perfect and college athletes know this better than anyone. They put in long hours at practice and at the gym, watching game film and studying playbooks. Coaches work to make sure their team is set up for success. When it comes to PR, always make sure your clients are prepared for interviews. Give them the resources they need – key messages, background information and interview best practices – to ensure they are set up for success.

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Superstars Don’t Win You the Game

College football is full of heroes and superstars that stand out on the field, but no player in the history of college football has ever won the game single-handedly. Every member of the team plays a role and each contribution is valuable. PR pros must work together to accomplish their goals. Giving each team member a voice will lead to much greater success than trying to shine solo.

Don’t Rest on Your Laurels

Plenty of programs have great traditions and a storied history of success, but what makes football exciting is every season, every game, players must go out on the field and give it their all, regardless of past success. They don’t stop trying after they beat their rivals or win the championship. The same is true in PR. Great placements or successful campaigns are big wins and should be celebrated, but you can’t rest on your laurels. Continue to give it your all and make success a PR tradition of your own.

What other tips can you glean from college football? If you spend your Saturdays on the couch cheering on your team, you just might learn a thing or two to apply to PR. Good luck this season and GO GREEN!