With the unfortunate events that have occurred recently in the United States, keeping America united will be the future of public relations. Just as America overcomes one tragedy, another one comes along, most recently the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary and now the bombing at the Boston Marathon. Hopefully these horrific events do not continue to occur at such alarming rates, or even at all, however, public relation managers will be preparing themselves based off of these events. These types of events can cripple towns, cities, and even nations, which is why we will see future PR managers combining their efforts for extreme cases of crisis management. Sport has the ability to break down barriers and unite nations. This is why I feel sports will be used now and in the future, more than ever, as a way to lift the nation through horrific events. Thinking back over a decade now, after the attacks on the World Trade Centers the New York Giants began referring to themselves as NYPD blue and they executed plays that related to the attacks, one was called “rescue.” The video below displays how sport is used to essentially remarket or rebrand our nation.
More recently this video appeared across multiple news stations throughout the country:
Or these photos that show the nation can be bound together through sport.
Public relations managers realize that Tragedies such as Sandy Hook, and the Boston Marathon bombing can make sports seem meaningless. But they can also remind us of the powerful role sports play in society which in PR this is key to maintaining a cities image and making sure that wherever the horrible event took place, that their name is not tainted by it. Taking possibly the two biggest rivals in sport, and showing their unity was not simply a coincidence, this is PR professionals effectively using sport. With the advancing of technologies this type of PR will only become more predominant. Special games will be scheduled specifically for events (i.e., football game or baseball game even if they were not supposed to take place). Various media outlets, whatever they may be at the time will continue to use sport in this way.
Here’s a quote from an article found on mashable.com
“When a tragedy like the Boston Marathon Bombing happens, it can be tough to define the line between sports news and hard news. This week, one of America’s most iconic magazines gets it right. Above is the cover for April 22 issue of Sports Illustrated, unveiled online Tuesday. It’s some powerful stuff and no wonder the image has been shared far and wide on the social web since.”
We will continue to see the works of PR become more invisible, meaning, sharing a photo or a video that was taken by a civilian and then re-marketing it to sell the image that they want. PR professionals will become more efficient at this, and finding out new ways to re-associate towns, cities, or the nation with a positive image after extremely unfortunate events.