Opportunistic Public Relations: The Super Bowl Edition

Every year, the Super Bowl stories appear like clockwork, even if the local team isn’t headed to the Big Game. Like death and taxes, you can count on these stories:

  • Crazy fan who does something outrageous
    The Superb Owl Sundae Courtesy Nat Hefferman
  • The mayoral wager
  • The local connection to an ad destined for Superbowl
  • The local business with its unique Super Bowl themed gathering
  • The local business that manufactured the team’s secret weapon jersey, helmet, pads, football or shoelace
  • The local bar with the most TVs, hottest wings, longest hoagie or other Super Munchie claim to fame
  • The local fan who will spend far too much on attending the game
  • The local fan who spent an unbelievably small amount getting to the game
  • The food
  • The fashions
  • The Super Bowl Hero’s best friend from junior high
  • The traditional Memories of Super Bowls Past
  • How to buy a big screen TV, nachos, or beer
  • Far too many stories about the team’s “chances”
  • Will he or won’t he?  Will (insert injured athlete’s name here) play?

Want to have your business included in a story like these?  Here are a few helpful hints:

  • Plan ahead — many of these stories will be written months in advance — long before Super Fever hits the general population. Or, the relationship that leads to inclusion in these stories was cemented months in advance.
  • Make certain there is a real business reason for getting included.  Sure it is fun to open up the paper and see your business included in a fun story on salsa but unless you work for a tomato farmer, a grocer, or local gourmet snacks company, does it really help your business?  (And, the answer may be “yes” but make sure you ask the question.)
  • Stay on brand.  Ask yourself if outrageous fits your brand.  If it does, it’s OK to offer to shave your head and wear a tutu for a week if your team loses.  Probably not OK if you are a CPA, and you’ll be doing a board presentation next week.  It might, just might, impact your credibility.
  • Think about where your expertise might be useful.  If you are a doctor, go for the injury story, or maybe the heartburn medication assessment.

Opportunistic PR does have a place in the PR toolkit but it doesn’t necessarily mean unplanned or last minute.