As a kid entering the world of professional baseball, Derek Jeter was over-matched and undersized. He had moments where he had no idea how he was going to measure up. He experienced moments of quiet terror, wondering if he would make the cut. Alone, struggling and with more strikeouts and far fewer hits than his friends, he endured, and somehow became the class act, 20 years later, that he is today. Derek walked away from the game heralded as one of the best to every play the game.
The Perfect Public Relations Professional
Jeter handled his professional baseball career, on and off the field, with class, dignity and abounding grace. His tenure wasn’t a controlled public-relations act. He was himself…no one else. You can’t pretend for 20 years to be someone or something other that what you really are. Authenticity matters and is especially true for sports personalities in New York. So what can public relations gurus learn from Jeter?
Rule #1: Success is a group achievement.
Jeter will always be remembered for his five World Series rings. He would be the first to tell you that he couldn’t have achieved success by himself. Some public relations professionals see their success as a personal achievement. The successful ones define their success at both the personal and organizational level.
Rule #2: There are multiple pathways to success.
Jeter couldn’t have known how is career would play out. He simply followed the path of excellence each and every inning of his career. He relished each experience, loss or win. In public relations, the best performers can claim a diverse education and experiences. Success can be gauged at many levels and through various routes.
Rule #3: Success follows performance.
No one can doubt or question the power of Jeter’s dependable performance. Excellence on the job, solving complex problems and meeting company objectives is a strong recipe for public relations success. Being able to manage a crisis well could very well be a career-tipping point for many public relations professionals.
Rule #4: Experience counts, but diversify your skills.
Years of experience carries weight, but diversity of experience is not to be taken lightly. The right kind of experience authors skills, knowledge and wisdom.
Rule #5: Effective communications is critical for success.
Despite Jeter’s calm demeanor, his mind was perpetually analytical, tactical and strategic. He was not only in the game–but on top of the game. Being able to communicate with business professionals through this type of mental prism can ultimately be a sure pathway to success.
Public relations isn’t just about packaging…it’s also about walking-the walk! Integrity, class and a high state of professionalism can only be perceived one way. Being a class act is a package within itself.