While cheering on the Celtics in the NBA playoffs, I got to thinking how the rules of basketball are a lot like PR. While obviously two very different disciplines, there are many related aspects. Beyond the overall fast pace and otherwise constantly changing tempo, both basketball and PR have high-stress, performance qualities with tactics that often result in a win or a loss. Below are just some of the correlations I’ve broken down into “the good,” “the bad,” and “the ugly.” What other similarities have you noticed between basketball and PR? Think about it the next time you’re watching a game!
- Dunk – In Basketball: To score by putting the ball directly through the basket with one or both hands. In PR: A spot-on pitch to a top-tier publication that lands your client a quality feature piece of coverage.
- Three-Point Shot – In Basketball: A shot from the outermost circle, resulting in three points when successful. In PR: A pitch to a target publication that’s a bit of a stretch, but is immensely beneficial when accepted.
- Fast Break – In Basketball: An offensive tactic in which a team attempts to advance the ball and score as quickly as possible, giving the other team no time to defend effectively. In PR: A proactively quick response to a current event or ongoing issue/crisis that results in a speedy resolution without the chance for negative press attention.
- Triple Double – In Basketball: Double-digit figures in three positive statistical categories (example: 12 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists). In PR: A successful campaign in three areas, including press coverage, analyst briefings and media interviews.
- Buzzer Beater – In Basketball: A basket in the final seconds of a game. In PR: Submitting a speaking or award abstract minutes, or even seconds, before the deadline.
- Rebound – In basketball: To obtain the ball after a missed field goal attempt. In PR: Coming back after a failed pitch attempt to take another chance.
- Foul – In Basketball: Violation of the rules. In PR: Upsetting the client.
- Air Ball – In basketball: An unblocked shot that fails to hit the rim or backboard. In PR: A pitch or campaign that’s completely off the mark and fails at getting the client any press exposure.
- Shot-Clock Violation – In Basketball: When the possession timer runs out, forcing a turnover. In PR: When the deadline is not met.