We let the facts do the talking.

A good PR agency and a football defensive unit are one and the same

Part 2: The Parallels

In part 1, I presented the perhaps esoterically unconventional idea of how a good PR agency and a football defensive unit are one and the same. Now join me as I bring it all together.

The basis of football is to outscore your opponent, but the defence is not just limited to the competency of the defenders. Defence in football is simply how a team, as a whole unit, prevents the ball from going into their goal, not unlike how a good PR agency will respond to any Public Relations crisis using whatever tools and means necessary.

One of the most crucial rules of crisis management in PR is to avoid knee-jerk reactions. Companies are usually emotionally invested which may lead to frenzied responses that further deteriorate an already bad situation. In football, should your team concede an early goal, the steps to take are almost similar to the ones you would during a crisis situation?

  • Calm down
  • Communicate with your team
  • Make sure that the next response is a thought-out one that will lead to desired results

Former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho is world-renowned as quite possibly the best defensive coach to have ever graced the game.  His teams won many titles over the years and his mantra to success was based on these two major principles:

  • The game is won by the team who commits fewer errors
  • Football favours whoever provokes more errors in the opposition

Similarly, a good PR agency needs to make sure it can work on the communication strategy of its client and eradicate all the unnecessary errors, while building a strategy to publish positive news about a represented company. Of course, there will always be instances where these two parallels won’t go hand in hand, but more often than not, a good defence and a good PR firm can be the difference between winning and losing.


Adnan Wahidi is Account Executive Intern at Cicero & Bernay Public Relations, an independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA region. |