Hi, readers. I am so sorry that I’ve been slacking on this blog lately. I know I shouldn’t give you excuses, but this is my blog, so I’m going to give you excuses. I recently moved over 600 miles away from home for a summer internship. Between wrapping things up in Kent, and then moving to my new city, things have been a little hectic. Throw in the fact that I’m living with my brother’s family (which includes two nieces 10-and-under), and I haven’t had a whole lot of time to analyze hockey PR.
Not to mention the fact that I’m still mourning my team’s early exit from the post-season.
We won't even talk about this. Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images.
This year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs are out of control. I never expected the East to end with the Flyers and the Canadiens battling it out for the Conference crown. How did that even happen??
In other hockey-related news, I recently checked out a hockey book from the library. It’s Thunder and Lightning: A No B.S. Hockey Memoir by Phil Esposito. I can’t wait to start reading it. I’ll let you know how that goes.
In the meantime, I was hoping to hear from you about what you want to read on my blog. Do you like the way the posts have been going? I started this blog for a class, and now that it’s over, I want to keep the hockey posts rolling. I was considering switching from a hockey PR blog to just a hockey blog. That way I could write about games and other things in the hockey world without directly linking them to a PR situation. What do you think? Would you rather read more of that? Of course, I would throw in PR stuff frequently because that’s just the way my brain thinks after three years of Kent State PR. I’m curious to hear from you.
And please let me know which team you consider to be the lesser evil in the Eastern Conference Finals. Trash talk encouraged.
I’ve heard it many times in my PR classes here at Kent State University: Don’t work for a client that you’re not morally and ethically okay with representing. To me, that means working for good people. Wherever I end up working (hopefully in the NHL), I want to know that the people I represent are good people. That does’t mean they have to attend a charity event every day or give money to community groups all the time. (Although they better do those things often.) More importantly, I want them to have kind, caring hearts. That kind of goodness matters the most in life. And that kind of goodness always has a way of coming out to the public in time.
Enter: Washington Capitals forward Brooks Laich. Following the Caps’ very unexpected and highly disappointing Game 7 loss against the Montreal Canadiens, Laich showed that athletes can actually make the news for something positive these days. Not far from the Verizon Center in D.C., a fan’s car hit a pot hole and got a flat tire on a busy bridge. Around that time, Laich was heading home, still upset about the season-ending loss. Then he saw the car on the side of the road, and he pulled over to lend a hand.
Brooks Laich changes a tire following the Caps' Game 7 loss.
Dan Steinberg wrote a detailed account of what happened on D.C. Sports Blog, an arm of The Washington Post. From a PR viewpoint, the best part of this story is that it wasn’t distributed by the public relations or marketing department. The driver’s daughter immediately went home and posted what happened on her Facebook status. Word spread, and the media latched onto the story. Before the Caps even heard what happened, reporters were talking to the woman and her daughter. They sang the praises of Laich, and rightfully so. Think of all the people who drove by that car without stoppping. And a man who was just trying to get home after suffering a terrible hockey loss was the only one to stop.
Way to stay classy, Laich. I’m impressed.
This is a great example of how great clients attract great public relations. There wasn’t a PR professional whispering in Laich’s ear, telling him to pull over and make sure he smiled for a photo opp when he was changing the tire. It was just a good guy doing a good deed. Someday I hope I can work for people with hearts like Laich’s.