I’ve never been a die-hard baseball fan. Nor has there been a player that has attracted me to the game, but I do know greatness when I see it. Derek Jeter, who recently played his last game in Major League Baseball, will go down as one of the more iconic baseball players of our time. He played the game of baseball the right way. In a time where off-the-field controversies are a bigger story line than what is going on the field, it is only right that we celebrate this man’s iconic career.
Being a strategic communications major, I wanted to write this post from a public relations standpoint. When Derek Jeter hit his walk-off single on Thursday night, I asked myself, “what can companies and PR firms learn from his career”. Then, immediately, it popped up in my head! I knew exactly what we all practitioners could learn.
Derek Jeter is known for being of the more clutch players of our time. He never had eye-catching statistics, but he always performed his best when the time mattered most. He lacked the emotion of a lot of players; he possessed the ultimate poker face that a lot of pitchers could not figure out. He displayed a charisma that many superstar players have never had. In my opinion, Derek Jeter’s greatest strength was his lack of emotion, and I believe it’s a characteristic that public relations practitioners and firms can learn from. Let me explain.
Derek Jeter, the captain, was the greatest under pressure. He never seemed to let his team down when it was in a crisis. So we must wonder, “why does Derek Jeter always excel in a crisis, but other talented players don’t.” We’ve hardly seen Derek Jeter show any kind of emotion. He took the emotionality out of every situation, analyzed and executed. Sounds very simplistic, but it is very effective. PR firms and companies should do the same when it to comes to handling a crisis. Many companies are failing at its crisis management because of too much reactionary emotion. Twitter trollers have caused executives to make firm decisions that have not necessarily been effective.
One attribute that is essential to crisis management is the ability to prepare. Jeter’s preparation was what set him up for success day in and day out. You can manage a crisis better if you’re prepared.
Do firms evaluate the situation when they execute? I’m not sure, but when it comes to baseball, Derek Jeter was a master of it. He never made a critical mistake that would cost his team. PR professionals and execs should learned how to evaluate, because one bad strategy or tactic could cost the whole team.
It all comes down to how well you execute. A lot of firms and companies have failed when it comes to its execution strategies. But the very few who actually get it always comes through when it matters most. There are just some brands, companies and firms that always seems to make the right moves at the right time. Derek Jeter epitomized this! He may not of been the most powerful or talented, but he always made the pivotal play that helped his team win. If firms executed like the future Hall-of-Famer, there would be less blunders when it came to crisis management.
Farewell to an all-time great, Derek Jeter. You will be missed!