6 Things Mixed Martial Arts Can Teach Us About PR
(Photo – Flickr Creative Commons: Kaloozer)
MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) has exploded onto the scene, with leagues such as the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) dominating the Pay-Per-View airwaves even more so than boxing. This made me stop and wonder—what makes this sport so popular and successful? Probably that MMA has something for everyone: a mix of over six different types of fighting from diverse regions all over the world, all of which can take place in a single match (pretty impressive, huh!). Much like ninjas, MMA fighters have to possess a multitude of skills in order to succeed, and every fighter has a different style or technique that helps them dominate the competition.
So whats the connection to PR? Like an MMA fighter, you need an effective combination of tactics to be able to submit the competition.
Here are some moves we like:
1) Be fearless and aim high. UFC fighters won’t stop. Period. They want to win, and once they do, they will do anything and everything to defend their title. Don’t be afraid to work your way to the top. Set goals, aim high and work hard to achieve them. No one will knock you down for wanting to be the best.
2) Strike hard. UFC fighters are trained to calculate hits in a split second and put all their might behind a blow. One carefully planned hit can be a knockout. Now think about the Old Spice man, or ASPCA commercials, featuring sad-eyed animals tugging your heartstrings. These are some pretty hard hits. So know your audience, and think about what will make them stop and pay attention to you.
3) Endurance (and blocking) is extremely important. Being a fighter is about lasting through all the rounds and not going down for the count. In PR, it’s great if you’re there full-force, but you’ll lose if you give up too early. PR, media relations and community building takes time, persistence and plenty of listening and engagement before you will see results. So hang in there, and bring a protein shake (or two!) to keep you going.
4) Know your ground game, as well as your stand up game. MMA fighters don’t train in just one discipline, they learn a multitude of martial arts disciplines. If a fighter is good at standing up and punching, but bad at wrestling on the ground, they will eventually be beat by someone who knows how to do both effectively. Translation? Become a jack-of-all-trades in your industry for the most relevance and defense against your competitors.
5) Be humble. So you’ve come out on top: You’ve beat the competition, got the customers, won the sales and attained a fan base. Now what? Be humble in your victories–people will respect you much more for it. Once you “win,” re-evaluate what it will take to keep you at the top–otherwise, you might fall behind.
6) An interesting personality or background can further your career even more. A lot of fans watch UFC because of the fighter’s personalities. Some guys are explosive and have testosterone levels through the roof; some are goofy; and some are quiet and have a soft side. There is even a fighter who is hearing-impaired that worked through adversity to train and be successful at the sport–a Cinderella story, if you will. What is your background story? Remember, what makes you human, makes you personable–and people like that. They don’t want a robot. People like people–especially people like themselves–which is the most basic rule for successful PR.
Try these tips and keep the fierce training and fighting styles of MMA fighters in your mind to make your competitors submit.
If you liked this post, you might also enjoy – HOW TO: Be a PR Ninja
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