Wednesday night, the Boston Bruins series comeback was complete when they shut out the Vancouver Canucks in foreign territory, clinching their first Stanley Cup since 1972. The win was exciting for me, not only as a hockey fan, but as someone who thinks that sports can always provide a good metaphor. So what can we learn from the B's in our day-to-day life?
There are no Guarantees: After the Canuck’s embarrassing game 6 loss, forward Daniel Sedin guaranteed a game seven victory, at home in Vancouver. Well, someone should have informed Mr. Sedin that there are a few guarantees in life, and as luck (or skill) would have it, the B's won. In public relations we are taught to be prepared for the unexpected. Working in a fluid industry, where the news is always changing, you have to be flexible. As public relations professionals, we have to be prepared for last minute changes.
Know thy Opponent: One of the many reasons that the Bruins were so successful in the series is because they understood who they were playing against. They were able to anticipate the Canuck’s game plan. Similarly, in public relations, the better we know our clients, their industry, their competitors and what keeps them up at night, the better we are going to be able to serve them.
Be Integrated: The Bruins would not have one the series if they relied solely on the series MVP, Tim Thomas. The Bruins won because of an integrated game plan. They had all the components needed for success: offense, defense and one heck of a goalie. Similar to the Bruins game plan, for public relations campaigns to succeed, they need to be integrated. Once you have a multifaceted PR campaign, you can them seamlessly integrate the pieces together.
Know your Role: In hockey, there are players who are designated for specific roles. The Bruins have Shawn Thornton, as the bruising enforcer, David Krejci, who can pass, shoot and score, Tyler Seguin, who is a spark off the bench and Zdeno Chara, who keeps the puck and people away from Tim Thomas. While, they can take on other roles, they know their primary responsibilities. Public relations is no different, and within your client teams, it is a team sport. Each member of the team has an assigned role and it’s crucial for your team’s success that you know your role and responsibilities. You should also be aware of what your teammates are doing and anticipate where they may need assistance.
Play Hard: After evening the series to two games apiece, Tim Thomas said that the success in his career has come from working hard. While Thomas’s work environment is very different than for most people, his message resonates across the board, and the harder you work, the more likely it is you will get your desired results. If you work hard enough, you too can be the Stanley Cup winners of your industry.
Contributed by Katie Gardner. Follow her @kgardner200.