Get an Olympic Gold in PR

Samantha Bryant
February 7, 2022
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The Olympic torch is lit and world-class athletes from across the globe have descended into Beijing. As our televisions are full of figure skaters, skiers, snowboarders, speed skaters, bobsledders, ice hockey, and curlers we can use this as a learning opportunity. We can learn from their determination, dedication, and how to have a competitive edge to stand at the very top of the podium in the world of PR.

What can we learn from these athletes?

Keep an eye on the competition

The competition isn’t something to be feared, it’s something to learn from. I highly encourage companies to identify their competitors and investigate what works for them and what doesn’t. Look at the competition’s press room on their website to see their recent news coverage. See what angles they’ve had success with and which ones fell flat. Perhaps there’s a specific reporter with a beat that will work for your own company’s news. Olympic athletes know their competitors every turn and you should, too.

Be a team player

You don’t have to fly solo if you have the right team behind you. After a competitive event, you’ll often see athletes sit and chat intensely with their coach. They are learning, and they have full support. Apply this to your company and turn to those you trust for collaboration. You are stronger as a team and it will show. Turn to your publicist, marketing team, and staff for ideas and you may uncover a unique story idea you wouldn’t have otherwise known. Utilize your team for media training, suggestions, and general support. As the old adage goes, there’s no “i” in team. Be a team player and you’ll reap the rewards.     

Put the time in

Successful public relations doesn’t happen overnight and you will set yourself up for disappointment if this is your way of thinking. There’s a lot of research that goes into each angle, each pitch, each media list. Reporters know if you are just copying and pasting material and not personalizing your outreach. This is not how relationships are built. This is not how genuine stories get picked up. Email blasts are not as effective as the individualized pitch. It’s time intensive, but well worth it to put the time in to get the coverage you desire. Some of the best stories don’t happen overnight either. Good press takes good time and you have to be patient. Olympic athletes don’t become Olympic material overnight, it’s taken them years to be the best in their sport. Early mornings and late nights, they put the time in before they get to take the world’s stage. 

If you fall down, get back up

Never accept defeat. If a reporter tells you no to a story idea, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, take a deep breath, move along, and try again. Find out why you fell short and re-evaluate your pitch, your angle, and your contacts. You can always find a new approach but never, ever give up. When an Olympic ice skater missteps on the ice and falls, do they run off the rink sobbing? No. They get back up and get back at it until they get it right. 

Turn to your community

There’s nothing more heartwarming than seeing a community come together to cheer on their local athlete. They are there for their athletes through thick and thin. These communities knew humble beginnings to ultimate success. When you hit a roadblock or need some extra support, turn to your community. Your community is there to back you up. Your community can be a network of like minded entrepreneurs, people who have been there and done that, who are willing to share experiences and tips. 

The Bottom Line

Olympic athletes are the tip of an iceberg and there’s more to the eye than what you see. Who you see standing proudly on the podium worked hard to get where they are and have a team behind them. Take these tips to make the most of your public relations strategy. Do your research, put in the work, learn from your mistakes, find your people, and find your team. Then set out and go for that gold, the PR gold!

A photo of Samantha Bryant
Samantha Bryant
Samantha Bryant Public Relations
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