Is Public Relations Like the Eight Ball?

The eight ball–a solid black ball used to win a game of pool–just may be representative of the public relations landscape. With the proper angle and precise timing, the eight ball and public relations are quite similar.

In PR, there is always the chance that, no matter how compelling your story pitch is, it may never make it past the assignment desk. And yet, depending on the day, it might be just what a reporter is looking for.

Just as the eight ball needs to land in the designated pocket, a story idea needs to land at the right place and the right time.

The break shot in pool sets the tone for the rest of the game—just as you pitch your story with the hope of its placement in the future. A straight shot–which can symbolize when your pitch lands a placement on TV or print–is ideal. Sometimes PR pros must develop a variety of different shots to find the perfect placement.

The Bank Shot- When your pitch doesn’t get a straight shot placement, this could mean the publication or connection wasn’t right. Maybe you’re pitching a story about a new restaurant in Phoenix to a publication that covers Tucson, or you’re pitching a story to a news anchor instead of a producer. The bank shot in pool can represent the angle you approach the media with.

The Double Shot- The double shot is a shot you take when the ball you want is in a difficult spot. In PR, there are many tools to help you land a placement, some of which include speaking engagements, press outreach, networking and more.

The Jump Shot- When the cue ball jumps over another ball to hit your target, this can be an impressive move. In PR, this may be representative of the obstacles PR pros must face to get the desired coverage they want for their client. Obstacles in PR can include trying to meet everyone’s expectations (of the client, PR firm and the media), engaging in social issues in a meaningful way, or damage control to an incident that sheds a negative light on your client.

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at Apr 26, 2023

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