What I Learned About PR By Filling Out A March Madness Bracket

When thinking of terms to describe myself, sports enthusiast is definitely not one that comes up. As much as I enjoy a fun Temple basketball game, I have very little knowledge on other college teams and their stats. With that, I was probably underqualified when filling out a March Madness bracket but I thought that it would be a new experience. I chose and placed teams throughout my bracket solely on their names, locations, and uniform colors. Just as any other PR major would, I found that there were many valuable lessons to be taken from this March Madness bracket experience that could be applied to a scenario seen within the field.
 
Here is what I learned about PR while filling out a March Madness bracket:
 
Always do your research. In most cases, it is okay to fill out a March Madness bracket just for fun without any prior knowledge on the teams or their season stats. In PR, this is never acceptable. When creating interesting pitches angles, it is important to have research to back up your claims. You would never want to put yourself in a place where reporters deem you as untrustworthy because that’s a guaranteed way to never place your client in that publication.
 
Pay attention to news. After completing my bracket, I tried to watch as many games as I could to follow along with my bracket. This is an important commitment to see my bracket thru to the end and make sure I am aware of who is winning and losing. When representing a client, it is important to stay current on what’s going on in the news nationally, regionally, and in their industry. You never want to miss an opportunity where your client could receive news coverage.
 
Don’t be a sore loser. So the bracket I made was subpar and was ruined once Gonzaga lost to Duke, but that’s no reason to stop watching March Madness! When you miss an opportunity to place your client in a relevant story, don’t beat yourself up about it. Take that as a learning lesson. Prepare a pitch for a follow-up story or use this as opportunity to create a relationship with that reporter so they will leverage you as a source in the future. Always try to learn from your mistakes because it will make you a better person and PR professional in the end.
 
This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Rene Cosides.

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