PR at the Bat: What Public Relations Pros Can Learn from Spring Training

Posted on February 21, 2013 
Filed Under Staffing and Management

Major League Baseball’s Spring Training is in full swing.  It’s the start of a new baseball season, when ballplayers focus on getting in shape and every team, regardless of its payroll, has visions of playing in the World Series eight months from now.

Watching some of the coverage of spring training on ESPN it’s not too much of a stretch to think that—considering the constant newness in marketing communications—PR pros are forever in spring training, awaiting the next pitch, er, digital channel, technology or social network that they need to game.

With that in mind, here are a few PR lessons to gauge from MLB’s spring training:

> Singular focus:  With myriad new media platforms being batted around, not to mention the race for social-media supremacy, it’s easy for PR pros to get wrapped up in what the competition is doing. Sure, rivalries abound in any market but, as with spring training, the overriding goal for PR departments and agencies is to put the together the best possible team. Communications execs need to assemble a squad with players who complement one another; are leery of injuring the brand and know how to pace themselves for what truly is a never-ending season.

> Strength and conditioning:  In an increasingly social-media world, PR departments need to make sure that their social channels stay loose and flexible, but don’t suffer from any flab, or extraneous and/or unnecessary information that can drive eyeballs away from the channel as fast as screaming base hit down the third-base line.

> Deploying utility players: You see it all the time in baseball: A player is called in to pinch-hit or pinch-run or the outfield is reconfigured to adjust to a power hitter.  In a similar vein PR departments now must have their eyes peeled for specialized talent—videographers, analytics gurus, Web designers or media buyers—to bring into the fold and improve the overall prospects for the team.

What do you think? Are the other analogies between PR and baseball that I’m missing?

— Matthew Schwartz: @mpsjouro1 

Comments

  • http://www.newsmakergroup.com Suzanne Mannion

    Although years in the industry provides confidence in many ways, the newness of new media can send old timers running! Wanted to share thoughts from a colleague and how she tackled the problem (oops, about six months too early for the football analogy! http://www.newsmakergroup.com/blog/pr-and-social-media-is-crisis-plan-needed-to-adapt/

  • http://thethaasophobiccompadre.wordpress.com Katelyn McCoy

    I think that the baseball analogy works perfectly in the PR system. I am a communications major at a Missouri university and have learned that being part of a cohesive team and training together works effectively for communications professionals.

  • http://www.genesisbm.in/ Corporate Social Responsibility in India

    Using all your resources is always vital when it comes to achieving your target in time. Not deviating from the goal is an obvious must to have quality.

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