20 Nov 5 Lessons PR Professionals Can Learn from Rousey Vs. Holm: UFC 193
Many fans around the world were devastated as they watched the mixed martial arts match between Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm in UFC 193. Rousey, former women’s UFC bantamweight champion, quickly showed signs of weakness against her opponent, which inevitably led to her defeat.
Rousey might have won had she adhered to some universal best practices. Lucky for us, in losing, she has managed to remind PR practitioners everywhere that, while no one’s immune to failure, a kick to the head can be avoided by focusing on five simple truths.
- Make Sure to Connect
Making strong connections is essential to success — just ask Holm. You should strive to make every connection as solid as the kick that KO’d Rousey.
This is especially true when it concerns journalists. Connect with them — read their work, and share it if you enjoyed it. Whether it is through electronic communications or in person interactions, having this connection can mutually benefit you both and will certainly produce more results than the “spray and pray” method.
- Don’t Get Sloppy
Watching the match, it was apparent which fighter remained calm, cool, and collected. Holm was consistent in her strategy, strikes, and overall game plan, whereas Rousey’s frustration built as her blitz style attacks continued to fail – and it was all downhill from there.
The lesson here is to stick to the plan, stay orderly, and keep your composure. Whether you are communicating your company goals, methodically executing upon your PR plan, or preparing for an interview, stay focused and in control to make sure you achieve your goals.
- Be Proactive
Prior to the fight, it was evident that Rousey did some research, but failed to create a strategy or plan. In an interview on The Tonight Show, Rousey predicted how she thought the fight would go getting every detail right down to the final blow to the head. If Rousey had planned and strategized accordingly, she may have been able to counter Holm and stay in control.
Research, planning, and strategizing can help PR professionals control a situation. For example, in advance of an interview, PR executives should extensively prepare their spokespeople with background on the reporter, including sample questions. Further, it’s important to make sure that research is clearly relayed to the spokesperson doing the interview so that they are well prepared in case they come up against a potential knock out question.
In short – Be proactive. Be prepared. Be in control.
- Extend Your Reach
Arguably the key factor to Holm’s success was her ability to use her reach, primarily with her kicks. Rousey’s reach may have been equal, but she didn’t use it effectively, and therefore wasn’t able to connect with the same amount of force.
PR professionals should always try to extend their reach into multiple communications channels, such as content marketing. Content marketing can be very effective at broadening a company’s message and getting it noticed by customers. Great writing can be complemented by other compelling tools, including videos, brochures, infographics, and more. Plus, the points and messages included in things like blog posts and white papers can be used in media pitches and spread throughout social media to help maximize reach.
- Get Back Up and Try Again
After the shock wore off for Rousey’s fans, they began to wonder about their hero, and what might happen next. What physical state was she in? How was her health? In answer, Rousey took to Instagram and stated:
That is the attitude that every PR professional needs to have. We’re not always going to secure a spot for that article, interview, or award. Not everyone is going to love what we have to say on social media, or embrace the messages we’re extolling. Inevitably, we’ll run into some stumbling blocks and challenges. The important thing is to keep fighting, get back up, and try again.