Volume 1: Part I

How are football and Public Relations Similar?

One thing that I’ve always enjoyed since I was a young boy was football. I loved watching football, I loved playing football, and I even collected trading cards. I have enough jerseys to wear a different one each day for a month. It is one of my greatest passions and not for one moment did I ever stop and think about how it could relate to my course until recently. Since starting the Advanced Public Relations module this semester, I have grown to realise how much the two have in common.

Think I’m crazy? Well let me explain. In football it doesn’t matter how good you are, you’re always going to need help from team mates. You need to listen to each other and communicate effectively to carry out the tactics put in place. Everyone has a job to do and it is their responsibility to do it the best of their ability. If not they run the risk of letting the whole team down. This is the exact same for someone working in PR, you are part of a team and you need to work together and use your communication skills to carry out the strategy which was created to make the campaign as successful as possible. This goes for whatever role you were assigned, whether you are analysing the situation, carrying out research or putting a video together.

Still not convinced? Maybe this point will change your mind. In a recent lecture I was told that there is no one right way to create a successful PR campaign and that different people will use different models depending on what they feel comfortable with. Football is no different. When a manager is setting up his team there are a variety of different formations and different play styles that they could use. The manager will obviously have one he is familiar with but may have to change it to something which best suits the squad of players he has at his disposal or the team they are facing. If you go on to a career in PR you may have to adapt, because you never know what is going to happen in the future. Something that worked for you once may not work the next time, so you’re going to have to find a way around this.


I’ll give you one more point so you definitely see where I’m coming from. When creating a PR campaign one of the first things you ask yourself is “What do I want to achieve from this?”. Objectives are a very important aspect in everything as it provides you with motivation and gives you the opportunity to look back and see how successful you have been. You will always have objectives, both for the campaign and personally. These may be to improve your own skills as no one is perfect and there’s always room to grow. Football teams also have objectives they aim for across a season in order for them to consider it a success, but each individual player will also want to continuously improve to be the best they can be in their position.

Hopefully by this stage you can see how there are similarities between football and PR and I have only scratched the surface, there are many more ways in which they are similar, but I feel I have taken up enough of your time so this is where I’ll leave you.

Stay tuned for future posts and I hope you have a very nice day.

Joseph McAuley is a final year BSc in Communication, Advertising and Marketing student at Ulster University. He can be found on Twitter: @JosephMcAuley96 / Facebook: