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What PR lessons can we draw from the World Cup?

July, 2014

Billions of people around the world switched on and saw Germany win the final of the World Cup. When selecting your PR agency there are a few football analogies that you can think about. Andy Rayfield, PR Manager at Maxim and Arsenal season ticket holder, considers the issue.

Does your prospective agency offer…?

A safe pair of hands in goal: Every business needs a strong last line of defence. A commanding presence that can sense danger, snuff out the threat and provide a calming influence on those around them.

Solid centre-halves: Every successful team has its enforcers, able to stand their ground and defend at key moments in the game. A good PR agency doesn’t need the equivalent of World Cup winner Matt Hummels, but it does need to be able to argue their client’s case firmly in the face of press interest.

Mobile full-backs: Able to make the goal saving tackle and also support the team going forward. Solid in defence but blistering speed in attack. Great PR agencies are able to respond quickly to the opportunities offered and score for their clients.

A midfield general: Directing the team on the pitch, organising and cajoling those around them and sensing the right opportunities to play the killer forward pass – or the story the press simply cannot ignore in PR terms.

The exciting forward: The flair player, the Messi, Neymar or Robben, capable of producing the unexpected and adding the wow factor that gets results.

An experienced manager: Focused and with a clear strategy, someone who is able to stand back, deploy their team and react quickly to changing circumstances to deliver a victory, or in PR terms secure maximum coverage.

A good support team: Behind every great set of players is the back-up team: the physios, nutritionists, masseurs. Businesses need similar support. A good PR company will know your business inside out, will be able to spot areas of concern before they become critical and be there to offer first aid as soon as it is needed, keeping you match fit and ready for action.

It’s a team game: Germany lifting the World Cup has been hailed as teamwork triumphing over individual brilliance. While they didn’t have the equivalent of a Neymar, the core of the team has grown together over a period of years.

The players have a close understanding, play to each other’s strengths and cover for each other’s weaknesses. They work hard for each other and get results – exactly what a good PR team can do for your business, particularly if the relationship is allowed to develop over a period of time.

It’s a results business: Football is all about the team coming together and winning the big shiny pot at the end whichever competition it is you happen to be competing in.

Business is about results too: profit, market share and profile.

In business, as in football, the winners are those who build the best team, and the best businesses always include a strong, professional, dependable, results driven PR team.

posted in: advice, public relations,

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