Eight ways PR is like Sailing (a 3-part series)

Posted by on Nov 9, 2011 in General, Management, Sailing | 0 comments

 Eight ways PR is like sailing
Part one 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?
1) PR people, like skippers, tend to have a ‘Mother Nature’ resiliency.

A PR person’s day can be planned with great predictability but each hour, let alone each day, can bring twists, turns and interview requests that become opportunities not to be missed. Whatever Mother Nature may throw your way during a 2-3 hour sail, be prepared. We have not figured out how to control the weather, or every aspect of our day as a PR pro, but we are certainly smart enough to choose wisely where to turn the boat by determining the best tacks (tactics) and gibes (strategy) depending on where we want to go.

2) “In PR you pray and in advertising you pay.”

When you want to get from point A to point B in a sailboat, you pray that on that particular day, during that particular hour the wind is in your favor to sail the fastest and most efficient to get where you need to be and in the time that you need to get there.  You can’t pay the weather gods to turn the breeze on and in our favored direction. Use these elements to your advantage. Calculate creativity.  You don’t have to ‘pay to play’ as an advertiser would.  In PR and in sailing, Mother Nature takes you there. When your story is credible, you make the most of the ride.

3) In PR, like sailing, keep the ‘ship’ steady and the team moving in the right direction.  

When sailing and facing directly into the wind, you go nowhere. It’s called “irons.”  Irons is good when you want to take a break and eat a sandwich. It is bad when you need to be somewhere or make something happen, which is the often the case for PR folks. When running an agency or managing a client’s needs, the wind, and other  forces, need to be on your side to keep your ship running smoothly.  Consider the PR vehicles that carry your important messages to the most influential audiences. The “keel”, or the part underneath the boat that is not always visible, keeps you from sliding sideways. Who is your behind-the-scenes keel that keeps you upright in turbulent times?  The heavy weight, or “ballast,” keeps the boat steady and moving in the most efficient direction. Who is your heavy weight?  The anchor keeps you grounded.  Who is your anchor? Thank these people daily.

To see the full series and eight ways, visit:

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