Stephanie Schwartz|Sep 14, 2015

Football season is back! It’s time to break out the jerseys, impress your friends with your best hot wings, pop open a cold beer and cheer on your favorite team(s).

With college and pro football back in full swing, I couldn’t help but relate the grid iron to my job in PR. In addition to breaking tackles and always working to beat the clock, there quite a few skills that PR pros can learn from football and apply to our everyday work.

1. Protect your quarterback

Offensive linemen protect their quarterback like PR firms to protect their clients. If a team has a strong offensive line, the quarterback rarely gets sacked, but to guarantee success the quarterback must trust his line (and vice versa). The same applies in PR: Building trust and honest relationships with our clients allows us to protect their reputation.

In some crisis situations, your quarterback may need some extra safeguarding (Deflategate, anyone?). PR pros must have crisis communication plans in place and be prepared for multiple scenarios. rbb senior counsel Bruce Rubin is the originator of a unique “fast-action” crisis management program designed to eliminate or mitigate negative news media coverage.

2. Set your team up for success

In football, the offense must block/tackle the opposing team to clear the path for their own teammates. In PR, it is integral we work together as teams, because from Assistant Account Executive to Partner we all play a part in our client’s success.

Sportsmanship also is key so we can build each other up and not knock each other down – like the recent San Antonio high school football players scandal. At rbb, we have an open office that allows us to collaborate and tackle obstacles together. Our managers also take the time to mentor junior staff so we have the proper tools and skills to succeed.

3. Be strategic

Football teams have hundreds of plays in their playbooks and watch their opponent’s tapes to prepare for upcoming games. As PR pros, we love to plan, plan, plan.

Creating a solid PR strategy is probably the single most important aspect of what we do for our clients. Although, there are often unexpected situations in PR (as there are in football), we must adjust, stay on strategy and run with it (pun intended).

4. Represent your team on and off the field

We’ve all seen the headlines of football players who step out of line like Ray Rice. They reflect poorly on their team, coaches and the NFL as a whole.

At rbb, we represent our company outside the office, after hours and even on social media. Whatever we say or do can directly affect our reputation. In fact, we recently had a refresher course from our Digital Park experts on the newest trends and pitfalls of social media privacy and etiquette.

As you are glued to your couch on game days watching your teams duel it out on the field, think about the synergies between football and your life. Share your winning thoughts below!

Happy football season – Go Gators!

Photo by Ron Almog, used under CC BY / Cropped from original


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