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Parallels Between PR and March Madness

Today begins one of my favorite times of the year…March Madness! I absolutely love filling out my bracket, competing with my family/friends for bragging rights and following all the action. And it’s not just college basketball – baseball is almost back (Go Twins!), the NBA and NHL playoffs are close (Go Wolves!) and other college sports are in full swing.


Have you ever stopped to think about how PR and March Madness might be related? I don’t always look for parallels between big events like this and my work, but this year I did – and I found a few. In no particular order, here they are:


1.     They’re Unpredictable. March Madness is so compelling because you just never know what’s going to happen. Upsets abound. Cinderella stories emerge. Leaders and heavy favorites tumble and fall. The same is true in the business world, and in PR. I can make my best guesses about what’s going to happen based on 25-ish years of experience, but sometimes things don’t go the way we think. That’s pretty exciting, if you ask me. We’re all along for the ride – and if we plan well, we’ll be ready for whatever comes along.


2.     They Each Have Several Layers of Competition. Most people will be watching the NCAA Division 1 Basketball Championship in the next three weeks. But there are other tournaments for Division 1 teams (NIT, CBT, etc.), and champions will soon be decided in Division II, Division III, club leagues and more. Basketball immortality – and PR/business success – aren’t just for the largest schools and companies; they’re for leaders, hard workers and problem solvers at all levels.


3.     The Harder You Work, the Luckier You Seem to Be. I’ve always been a believer that we make some of our own luck. Similarly, we reap what we sow…what goes around comes around. Teams that do things the right way, play hard and support each other have a good chance to win. Companies are the same way – if they make great products/services, take good care of customers/staff and participate in their communities, they will have a good chance to get where they want to go.



Enjoy the ride! Who do you have winning it all this year?

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