Eight ways PR is like sailing (2 of 3)

Posted by on Nov 10, 2011 in General, Management, Sailing | 0 comments

Eight ways PR is like sailing

Part two of a three-part blog series published in PRBreakfast Club 
PR Pro’s: would you add anything? Sailors: what do you think?  Other professions: how can you relate to these metaphors?

4) PR and sailing represent teamwork at its finest.

Most boats over 15’ are best operated, but not required, with a team. Each person, when racing, has his or her role. If you are fortunate the team understands the bigger picture and moves toward the common goals of safety, fun and crossing the finish line first. The PR project or campaign can’t be done alone either. Each part comes together as it develops, executes and measures the results. The boat can go fast because each team member plays a role: time the distance to the start line before the gun goes off; steer in heavy winds; trim sails after tacking; crank sails tighter when needed; and constantly watch for traffic (distractions and obstacles).

5) Managing PR campaigns is like helming a boat.

You may feel at times that you are going slow, if not backwards, in your project.  When the wind is pushing you forward by blowing from behind, it does not mean that you are off course or going to go slower. It simply means that is the direction you must take at that particular moment. Even though the wind is at your back, you still face forward with your sight (strategy) on the course’s finish. Smart sailors look back to predict wind gusts or velocity increases and take advantage of them to propel ahead of the competition. PR pro’s recognize that taking time to build new relationships, to maintain existing ones and to recalibrate a plan is part of the process for achieving results.

6) Like sailing, PR efforts are intertwined with many forces to achieve success.

There are many people and organizations that influence a campaign, a message or a quote to the news media.  There are also many variables that influence a day of sailing. To sail well, you must consider the weather, the tides, and the traffic on the water, the equipment’s reliability, the boat’s condition, and your team’s skills. In PR, stakeholders like employees, news media, investors, partners, vendors, and the community are at play.  Every time you pitch a story, Tweet, Facebook post, or speak publicly to tell your story, you must consider the nuances of all stakeholders.  What are their needs? Why do they care? Why will they do as a result of your message?

To see the full series and all eight ways PR is like sailing, visit:

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