Passion, it’s where you wake up excited and eager and are still going after dark. Chemistry, it’s that relationship between two people where things just click and everything is in perfect sync.
Why are passion and chemistry so important in PR? Think of it this way. How do you convince people to believe if you don’t believe? How do you interact with those you can’t really relate to?
While things will rarely fall perfectly into place – because relationships and people aren’t perfect, there are those special sometimes when the stars seem to be in your favour. I love watching and I love playing sports, so when a sports related client came knocking on our door I was the one jumping over my colleagues’ heads shouting ‘Shotgun!’.
And now I love doing PR for sports. When you have a passion for something you will strive to do your best at it. For me, servicing a football club that appointed Diego Maradona as their Head Coach and Albert Benaiges as the Director of their youth academy is like a dream. Just being able to talk to those guys and watch them in action takes away all the stress from the job.
The right man for the right job
It is important that the right consultant is fixed up with the right client because the last thing a client needs is to have to sit down and explain to you what Private Equity means or what’s the difference between an SUV and a Crossover or in my ‘new’ client’s case, what is a Full Back or a Team Sheet. Technically, I don’t know the difference between an SUV and a Crossover and I have no clue what Private Equity is, and don’t get me wrong, given some time I would figure it out, but when a new client comes in, it’s best to match them with a consultant who knows, understands and ideally loves the field. Why? Passion will show in their work, the effort they put in, the hours they pull off, and the willingness to do it all over and over again.
You have 251 missed calls
And that’s just from leaving my phone on my desk to go to the bathroom. The past three months have literally been a rollercoaster ride. Ever since Al Wasl Football Club announced that they were hiring Maradona in May, things have been crazy. From day one until today, I must’ve received hundreds of emails and calls from journalists, not to mention the thousands of phone calls asking about every single detail; one reporter even asked me ‘do you by any chance know Maradona’s seat number on the plane?’ Receiving phone calls at midnight has become the norm, but it’s ok, why? Because I love football, I love my client, and I’d rather it be me people call to ask and not somebody else. Being the resource for a field that I am passionate about, well, who could ask for anything better?
They said what?!
Staying on top of the news is an important part of being a great consultant, and to me reading the latest in sports almost feels like cheating because it doesn’t really seem like work. Just the rumours alone have been keeping me up all night. The media get so excited about reporting a breaking story or exclusive information that they start to make up stories and you end up drafting more denial statements than actual announcements.
Constantly following what is being said in the media about this particular client would be a torturous chore if I didn’t enjoy it. And the fact that I do, makes me the better man for the job over somebody who doesn’t know what a midfielder is.
Yes, this is some of the craziness that’s my life now, and that’s not even half of it – but do you want to know the most difficult part? Having too much passion. Being so close to my idols and holding myself back from asking for a picture or an autograph. I swear, I’ve had a jersey in my car for months now and I still can’t work up the courage to ask Maradona to sign it for me. Not because I’m scared, and not because I can’t, but because I am the professional – I just don’t have the option of acting like a star-struck fan.
Having said all of this, I must admit that as hectic as it gets it’s all worthwhile. Having the chance to see Maradona on the pitch again, going to watch a football match after a long day and sitting down with the former director of the Barcelona Youth Academy and listening to stories about Lionel Messi sure does take all the stress away.
How does being passionate about your work make it all worthwhile?