5 PR Skills I Learned Playing Soccer

By: Roberto Burgos

Soccer has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. I’ve always loved the sport. I learned how to control the ball, dribble through defenders and shoot with precision but I also learned many other skills that have helped me adapt to the PR industry.

1. Develop a game plan that works according to your strengths

You cannot step foot on the pitch without a strategy. You need a well thought out plan that properly prepares the team to successfully reach the objective. The PR industry is unpredictable so, remember to expect the unexpected because not everything goes according to plan; you must adjust to new and uncomfortable situations. In both PR and soccer, you have an advantage if you’re able to think creatively to adjust to the opponent’s strategy and overcome obstacles with your team’s specific skills and strengths. The industry, just like a soccer pitch, is hectic and overwhelming at times, but it’s crucial to stay focused on the goal.

2. The team is always stronger than the individual

Both in PR and in soccer, you are much stronger with the help of your team. In a team, everyone has a role to play, so if one team member slacks then the whole team can suffer. Communicating with your team is essential to success. Make sure you’re looking out for your teammates and let them know if there is an area in their work that needs their attention. If the team member doesn’t put in their part of the work, then ultimately the head coach (general manager) can decide if that team member needs to be subbed out or moved to a different position. The individual is never above the team.

3. Every mistake is an new opportunity to learn

Nobody is perfect. You will undoubtedly make a mistake, and it is your job to stay calm and learn from that mistake. Start by acknowledging that you messed up and figure out how to avoid that same slip up. It’s important that you don’t lose confidence in yourself and your abilities after messing up. Recognize that you have a lot of room for improvement and take the appropriate steps to address the situation.

4. Practice, practice some more, and keep practicing after that

Like in soccer, the clock doesn’t stop. In public relations, the clock is always ticking and the industry is constantly changing. New tactics and ideas are dominating the market, constantly replacing the old ones. Like with anything, it’s important to practice and keep up with the current trends. Media monitoring and gathering analytics data are a few ways to effectively practice your PR craft.

5. Celebrate success and be proud of your achievements

After achieving the goal, don’t forget to celebrate the team’s long and tough campaign. If you want your agency’s name and brand to grow, you will want to share your success with other clients. Post your success on your social media accounts and upload your best work to your website to get it exposed to clients, competitors and future employers. Don’t hesitate to raise that trophy up high.

I was concerned at first because I thought the transition from soccer fanatic to public relations professional was going to be a difficult experience, but I was surprised by how well the sport had prepared me for my future career. Although hard to believe, working in an agency is very similar to running up and down the pitch.

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