Mike Pirolo – Athletic Scholarships Direct

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Athletic Scholarship Direct LogoMike Pirolo is the founder of the recently launched athleticscholarshipsdirect.com for which PUBLISIDE provides publicity services. To reach Pirolo for information about how you and your child can simplify the maze that is collegiate sports scholarship preparation, within the rules of the NCAA, visit his website or contact Gail at PUBLISIDE.

PUBLISIDE Question: Do you think there’s a “must do” and “absolutely do not do” list when it comes to sports-related programs that implement a publicity campaign?

Client Answer: Mike Pirolo

My belief is that while the media delivery mechanisms have changed, e.g.: from three networks to hundreds of channels, satellite radio, Internet channels and a 24/7 news cycle, the basic paradigms have not. You still have to build your brand one customer at a time by delivering a relevant value proposition.

“I believe that the sports business, like politics, is about five years behind the curve when it comes to adoption of new stratagems that impact new generations of viewers and fans. The story may be rich in history, but it needs to be delivered by 21st Century methods, e.g.: Facebook, Twitter, etc. This is where public relations firms can bring the most value to their sports clients.

“There is a gaping chasm between what organizations want to achieve and the reality of how they are executing against those objectives. The biggest challenge I see is that most teams/leagues have not put their arms around the power of social media; thus their ability to harness that power has been limited.

“It’s not about Terrell Owens tweeting about his contract…it’s about mobilizing a rabid fan base to become advocates of the organization/team. Once you mobilize this “Virtual Brand Army” you now have organic, dynamic evangelists that will continue to expand and support your causes, as long as the organization/team retains their authenticity and integrity.

“I can’t tell you how many times I have seen social media initiatives being managed by interns who know little about the dynamics of a company and expect Return On Investment. This is a huge opportunity for public relations professionals to step in as social media experts and drive advocacy.”

Pirolo says…

DO:

  • Go viral with a purpose, be authentic, and treat social media as a serious part of your marketing mix, not an afterthought.
  • Always have a target-relevant hook.
  • Set clear program objectives so that you can create empirical evidence that supports the efficacy of your campaign, which justifies the expense.

DO NOT:

  • think that you’re a success just because someone ran with your story, unless you are in crisis or entertainment PR.
  • be a linear thinker; you have to approach your clients business from a 360* perspective.
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