Scoring PR Touchdowns: How to Capitalize on Big National Events

March 5, 2013 // By: // No Comments

Marketing Communications     

While media buzz surrounding that “big Sunday game” may have come and gone, if you’re not in PR, you may not realize just how many brands tried to make themselves part of that conversation. From M&Ms to Got Milk to Hunter PR’s own campaign on behalf of JELL-O, the end of football season witnessed dozens of public relations efforts at work, all seeking national attention at the same time.

So why do we smart PR professionals — the ones who always preach, “Don’t get lost in the clutter of other news,” — choose to focus efforts during these extremely cluttered times of year? I, for one, believe it’s a worthwhile risk. First, it’s rarely a one-and-done approach, with activations pulsing out weeks to months before/after the big game. Additionally, it’s a solid way to gain entry into the thousands of media round-ups about marketing the big game that are bound to appear.

Per a Feb. 1, 2013, PR Week article, “The National Football League’s marquee event is now the climax in a months-long push by major brands to make a cultural impact that resonates throughout the rest of the year, and PR practitioners are at the center of it.” While some activations may take months to plan, there are still plenty of creative ways to participate in realtime, such as the Oreo Dunk in the Dark that the brand brilliantly tweeted during the game’s blackout. I only wish I had thought of that!

If big events like the Super Bowl and World Series don’t fit into your plans, utilizing athletes, both current and former, can still be a home run for your program.  I’ve worked with my fair share of former athletes, and in their local markets they are seen as hometown heroes. Nine times out of 10, the media will want to speak with them. While some may no longer be considered A-list, if they have a good track record, they will forever be loved by their team’s city.

I’d love to hear from other PR pros about their experiences leveraging big sporting events for public relations purposes. What has worked for you? Share your comments below!

(And for us PR wordsmiths, I leave you with this, as you know how hard it can be to find replacement words for “Super Bowl”)

About the Author

Charlotte Maumus

Charlotte is an account supervisor over a number of Hunter PR’s food and beverage brands.