5 PR Lessons to Learn from the World Series


For baseball goobers like yours trulythis is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s the Fall Classic, the MLB Finals, the World Series.

And while my Texas Rangers aren’t anywhere near the picture these days, this is a great series pitching the San Franciso Giants, a borderline dynasty of the ‘teens’, against the beleaguered franchise turned underdog sweetheart, Kansas City Royals. (Yes, those Royals.)

So why not? For this week’s #5Things: we have 5 PR lessons to learn from the World Series.

Ned Yost1. Be willing to mix-up your ‘starting lineup’. Whether one of the biggies or one of the boutiques, every agency has the “pitch team.” These are usually the best overall PR pros in the agency — trust them among most verticals, represent the firm, and don’t um a prospect to sleep. However, if those are the only people you consider, Mr. or Ms. PR Director, you’re sorely neglecting greatness in the team. The Giants called up Travis Ishiwaka who arguably got them to the big dance. Brandon Finnegan just pitched the College World Series for Texas Christian University and now he’s asked to help Game 3? Had both organizations not considered what other tools they have at their disposal, they may not be sitting so pretty. If you don’t for a pitch, neither will you.

giants teamwork2. Teamwork is Dreamwork. A great PR team needs people at every level — strategists, worker bees, Web heads, client-facing folk, and the media relations gurus. Without people contributing at every level, the team fails. Baseball is definitely a team sport, and without people on that team who all accept their role, the team usually encounters a mutiny with that one dolt who thinks they are above the team, demands more recognition, stabs everyone in his or her way straight between the shoulder blades, and causes a downward spiral reminiscent of a large, collegial toilet bowl. Do your part. Be proud of your work. And take pride in the role you played to help the team get there. Going along with analogy, there’s a reason we are called pitchers, amirite?

world series bullpen3. Trust the bullpen. It has happened countless times in PR agencies. The people in the room think they have all the answers, sitting in the corner, usually behind closed doors. They don’t want to hear new ideas, thoughts, or perceptions because their the bigwigs and you belong to the peons. Only one thing: They don’t know everything. Maybe, just maybe, people less than your pay grade have an idea that could serve the client and help the campaign. When you look across the cube farm, do not dare overlook the people sitting in those cubes. They are ready and willing to contribute. It’s up to you to call them out. They are sitting there for a reason. Shoot, you hired them. You may as well use them, big shot.

omar infante4. Swing for what matters. In PR life, award-winning campaigns are thinly separated from crap, ham-handed ones. And that difference is usually made with one decision that creates that separation. When the guys in the box (back to World Series, not the PR cube farm) see the right pitch, they likely rupture a disc to crank one out of the yard. They swing for the pitch and stay committed. If your team makes a decision to make a difference, go all the way. Make the call and get the entire team pointed in the same direction. Once everyone is of the same mind, they tend to work better together. Take a swing. Who knows? You may crush it.

hunter pence5. Hate the player; don’t hate the game. For those who don’t know, Hunter Pence (seen pictured here) has been the object of some serious trolling. There he is, at the plate in New York City, and one of the greatest MLB campaigns began. Giants v. Mets, and the announcers completely blew their wheels off by trying to interpret a fans hate sign: ‘Hunter Pence Can’t Parallel Park.’ Confusing? Sidetracking? WTF-ing? All of the above. To this day, Hunter Pence gets ridiculous signs made in his honor; yet, many people love the Giants (excluding present company) and the ratings for baseball are better than ever. Back to PR, mean people suck. Poor teammates suck. PR is a great industry, and you can have a place in it. Keep your head down, your mind open, and your rewards will come in. As for them, let other people make signs about them. You make a difference.

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Publish date: October 28, 2014 https://stage.adweek.com/digital/5-pr-lessons-to-learn-from-the-world-series/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT