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.
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.