Like most public relations professionals, I like a good challenge and I’m competitive by nature. Not always, but when I put energy and time into something where there’s a possibility of winning, I of course would strongly prefer the W.
A little information on my family’s sports background: my husband was a three sport varsity athlete in high school, and along with his brother and father, played D1 football in college. I, on the other hand, played sports growing up, including soccer through high school and briefly at the club level in college, but wasn’t overly committed. When there’s basketball talk at the Lewis house, I still tout my fifth and six grade glory days when I made the all-star team. But generally, most athletic seasons don’t receive more than a groan of annoyance out of me.
However, much to my husband’s surprise (and joy I’m sure), last year was the first I decided it was time to have a go at March Madness. Having not watched a full regular season game, I meticulously researched each team, conference, and past opponents and filled out my at home print-out and online work brackets. Somehow, I pulled off not one, but two bracket wins. Along with Kentucky, I too was a tournament champion.
This year was a different story. I’ll admit it. I was overly confident after my first year of being such a success. I may have based some of my selections on 9-year-old Kid President Robbie Novak’s, and rushed to fill in my brackets last minute (I think I had some other stuff on my mind – I blame it on being seven months pregnant), but nonetheless, I let my confidence get the best of me.
Overconfidence and lack of planning can truly be your worst enemy and demise in the life of brackets and basketball, and of course with PR and client relations.
While being confident in your skills as an agency and professional are vital, not understanding your boundaries and the failure to set realistic expectations or program metrics that are tangible can certainly be your downfall. With that said, as Macy’s can attest give your work and deliverables an extra proofread, spend time determining the overarching strategy before diving into tactics and take time to understand what your clients want to achieve and how to get there.
Ultimately, bracketology is more up to luck than PR is, but you get my point. Be confident, not cocky, and have a solid plan for executing success.