Leveraging Organic Public Relations: A Lesson from the NFL’s Playbook

Posted on February 27, 2024

In a world where competition for attention is fierce, organizations are constantly seeking innovative ways to capture public attention. One powerful strategy that has gained prominence is capitalizing on organic PR opportunities. The National Football League’s (NFL) capitalization on the Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce’s relationship serves as a prime example of how strategic partnerships and authentic relationships can elevate a brand’s image and capture the public’s imagination. While this is a high-profile example, it’s important to note that not every organization will have access to such celebrity relationships. However, that doesn’t diminish the significance of organizations seizing organic opportunities within their sectors.

Organic public relations involves the natural and spontaneous occurrence of events that can be harnessed for positive publicity. Unlike planned campaigns, organic opportunities arise unexpectedly, making them a valuable asset for organizations looking to connect with their audience in an authentic way.

Authentic connections between individuals, even those from seemingly different worlds, can create powerful and lasting impressions. In the case of the NFL, the organic connection between Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce offered a unique chance to humanize the league and engage fans, new and existing, on a personal level. Regardless of the scale, building genuine connections is at the heart of successful PR. Whether it’s highlighting employee stories, community engagement initiatives, or industry partnerships, authentic connections resonate with audiences. The NFL’s organic approach with Swift and Kelce serves as a reminder that even the most unexpected connections can humanize an organization.

One of the key aspects of organic PR is its ability to facilitate genuine connections between brands and individuals. Taylor Swift, known for her massive fan following, and Travis Kelce, a popular NFL player, came together organically, creating a relatable narrative for fans of both worlds. By acknowledging and celebrating this connection, the NFL demonstrated its understanding of the cultural zeitgeist, showcasing the league as more than just a sports entity but as a dynamic part of popular culture. When organizations are nimble enough to recognize and leverage such organic connections, they can tap into broader demographics and reach new and unexpected audiences.

Organizations may not always have the luxury of celebrity associations, but they can create positive narratives within their spheres of influence. By aligning with industry leaders, promoting shared values and showcasing positive contributions, companies can amplify their brand image. Being aware of the latest trends and issues within their sectors allows organizations to proactively position themselves as contributors to positive change.

Additionally, the role of social media in amplifying organic PR opportunities cannot be overstated. The NFL intelligently leveraged social media to share content related to the Taylor Swift-Travis Kelce connection, creating a buzz among fans and driving conversations. The strategic use of social media not only showcased its agility in adapting to contemporary communication trends but also ensured that the organic connection reached a vast and engaged audience. While not every organization can leverage a Taylor Swift-level celebrity, they can leverage social media to engage with their audience authentically. Sharing behind-the-scenes content, participating in industry conversations and responding promptly to trends can help organizations maintain an active and relatable online presence.

In the world of organic PR, being nimble is a key attribute. Organizations must be ready to adapt to changing circumstances and seize unexpected opportunities. By fostering a culture of creativity and responsiveness, companies can position themselves to capitalize on emerging trends and industry developments, creating positive associations with their brand.

While not every organization will have a Taylor Swift or Travis Kelce to feature in their PR playbook, the lesson from the NFL’s strategy is clear: organic opportunities are abundant within every sector. By building genuine connections, amplifying positive associations, utilizing social media effectively, and remaining nimble in their approach, organizations can navigate the PR landscape with finesse. Authenticity, adaptability, and a keen awareness of industry dynamics are key to unlocking the full potential of organic PR opportunities, irrespective of the scale of celebrity involvement.

Sarah Ferguson is an Account Executive at Brookline Public Relations. With a background in media relations, crisis communications and social media strategy, Sarah is driven to deliver creative public relations solutions rooted in tangible results.