Tournament season is here and with it brings miracle shots, upsets and madness. As public relations professionals, we can surely relate to the madness part. In this industry, noted in the top ten most stressful professions, we find ourselves many times fighting the clock. Never mind the competition and other in-game decisions gone wrong—it’s the timing and finite window of opportunity that defines success or failure.
Basketball coaches devise game plans much like public relations executives formulate winning campaign strategies. Unfortunately, hours of preparation won’t guarantee perfect execution, especially in crunch time. Sometimes, a final timeout is required to draw up a surefire game-winner.
These “Elite 8” mindsets are vital when you’re drawing up that all-important final play when activating a media tour:
- Don’t Go Against What Got You Here– Stick to the plan. You have come all this way in your media tour efforts and set out to accomplish certain KPIs. Just because you’re in a tough spot with seemingly no results to show for it, it’s imperative to stay the course and see the project through. Rely on your intuition from years of executing this tactic. There is no need to deviate drastically from what put you in this position. It’s just important to point out that I’m referring to drastic changes. Surely, minor adjustments are required from time-to-time.
- Defer To Your Best Players – The best coaches know how to put their best players in the best positions. Place your dominant key members in roles where they’ll have more chance for success. A team is critical for success, but it’s also imperative to place the finest talent in roles that require it and in times where you need the cream of the crop to shine.
- Block Out Distractions – The final seconds of any nail-biting game comes with an abundance of distractions, namely media and crowd noise. Similarly, pressures from team members, your client and media can cloud your judgment. Focus on the task at hand and block out all the noise. Easier said than done, but nonetheless this is an important reminder.
- Get Creative –Duke’s head coach Mike Krzyzewski has said, “I have a plan of action, but the game is a game of adjustments.” I mentioned it’s important to stay the course, but there are certain moments within those parameters where you should alter course of action. Look for ways to work smarter and not harder. As an example, ask yourself if there are ways to cut corners without losing quality.
- Anticipate Potential Pitfalls –Even though you’re working against time, placing some emphasis on forecasting snags in your final offensive possession can make the difference. Assume for a moment during your media tour you have a time with your spokesperson solidified, or so you think. Then you’re notified last minute an emergency in his or her schedule alters the location or duration of the tour. Are you equipped to handle the assumed givens when they go awry?
- Instill Positivity –Might go without saying, but every PR professional in charge of a media tour needs to make all team members believe they can pull it off. Constructive temperament and encouragement breads optimism and a belief that accomplishment is within reach. This is especially heightened in the final moments prior to execution of a tour.
- Trust in Team – The great, late John Wooden once said, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, you need a team.” Teams that commit to each other, especially in critical moments, excel more often than teams who splinter.
- Don’t Hold Back – When you’ve reached the end and you have a chance at victory, it’s not a time for conservatism. Cease the opportunity and put your best team on the court with the best plan in place. Trust it and run with it. Hesitation delays momentum and it could come back to haunt your media tour’s last-second play.
Follow these recommendations when forced into a last-second timeout with your next media tour.
Guest contributor Jeremy Juhasz is Manager of Digital Services at KEF Media. Jeremy was born and raised near Buffalo, New York, and is a communications graduate of Alfred University. He went on to attend Kent State University’s School of Communication and Information, where he specialized in public relations. Read the original article as it appears on BulldogReporter.com.