School’s back in session and autumn is around the corner, which means only one thing ー football season! As someone who didn’t go to a university with Division I sports, the NFL has become my preferred fall pastime over college football. And with that came my gambling addiction with weekly picks, Super Bowl squares and, of course, fantasy football.
After switching to the agency side of PR last year, I quickly recognized several similarities in responsibly managing a fantasy football team and managing a client roster.
- Become well-versed.
When handling the players on a fantasy team, you have to understand the function of each player’s position. You can’t rely on only having Tom Brady. Similarly, in a public relations agency, you can’t only be well-versed in one industry. Unless you work at a niche firm, it’s likely you will have a variety of client types. In the morning you may be writing a press release about a new data security program your tech client developed, and that afternoon you could be writing an op-ed about tax legislation for a CPA firm. Like in fantasy football, you need to diversify your knowledge if you want to succeed. You don’t have to be able to perform brain surgery, but public relations does require you to be generally familiar on a wide range of topics in order to write content, talk to reporters and relay messages to target audiences.
- Stay in the know.
Just like you need to follow updates on player injuries, trades and sleepers, you need to be in tune with breaking news and updates in your clients’ industries. You also need to be flexible and be able to adapt if something unexpected affects your client. That means you need to be reading the news daily to stay up to date on breaking news, competition, trends, legislation changes and anything else that may affect your client and their industry. Find what works best for you – Twitter, Apple News or email alerts. Following industry news will keep your ideas fresh and relevant.
- Rethink your strategies and tactics.
Strategies that were successful last year may not fare as well this year. Players’ health changes each season, so you can’t depend on the same guys to get you that trophy again this year. In PR, you can’t depend on the same ideas that worked before. People’s behaviors and trends evolve, so you need to adapt and bring fresh ideas each time. Routine is what hurts campaigns. Last year, a catchy hashtag may have helped generate awareness of your client’s public health campaign. For this year’s campaign, switch things up and maybe try a more grassroots approach that gets your message right in front of your target audiences.
Working in a public relations agency requires a lot of the same skills as a fantasy football team manager. Diversifying your knowledge, staying in the loop of industry trends and keeping your ideas fresh will help your clients reach their goals. Now go out there and get that first-place trophy you know you deserve!