Advancing my public relations career with a week that teed up PR success
Monday, June 11th, 2018
on behalf of U.S. Kids Golf European Championship
From PR account executive to golfing expert, with our public relations agency
I FIRMLY believe that once in a while, you should step out of your comfort zone. Tackle the equivalent of a challenging 450-yard dog-leg par 4 (using my newfound golfing vocabulary).
And that’s exactly what I did last week. Despite being a complete golf novice, I was tasked with playing a central role in the PR activity surrounding the annual US Kids Golf European Championship (USKG). (I’ve given crazy golf a go once or twice and I know vaguely who Tiger Woods is, so you can start to imagine just what we’re dealing with here).
If you don’t already know of it, the yearly competition sees around 700 of the top young golfers from around the world arrive in Scotland for a three-day event, taking place on some of East Lothian’s most beautiful courses. It’s the largest junior golf tournament in Europe and brings together kids from 53 nations, some from as far as Australia. It’s kind of a big deal.
So, what was actually required of myself and the team at Holyrood for PR success? Thankfully, we didn’t have to don any diamond print cashmere jumpers or green visors, but we did have to deliver a number of elements to ensure the event reached the widest possible audience, beginning with a programme of engaging user-generated videos (UGVs).
We received short clips from the competitors in the weeks prior to the event, and after a little magic performed by our videographer Seb, we published a total of 34 videos to the USKG Facebook page. Seeing kids from Sydney, Thailand, Kenya and beyond performing their most creative and inventive shots, including an 8-year-old from Ireland who was particularly skillful with a Rubik’s cube, is certainly not your average Monday morning. I was starting to get into this golf malarkey.
They helped us reach more than 95,000 organic views of our posts in a single month- an amazing outcome. Not only that, given that the UGVs were heavily shared by parents and competitors – we were getting right to their circle of friends, USKG’s target market – and likely future competitors.
If you’ve ever been frustrated on a golf course or confounded by a Rubik’s cube, then you’ll be impressed by this feat. This watchable video snippet also delivered a valuable boost to a business – find out how.
The competition was fast approaching and we simply had to invite the media along to see this golfing spectacle. We shared the story with Scottish national news broadcasters – STV and BBC Radio Scotland – who attended the practice day at Craigielaw Golf Club to interview some of the children, families and organisers of the event.
Liaising with this many people and making sure everyone has exactly what they need is not something they can ever prepare you for at uni, so you’ve just got to smile and roll with it – while being as helpful and adaptable as you can be! I think the rarely-seen Scottish sunshine definitely helped.
Prior to USKG, I had worked alongside our in-house videographer, Seb, on a couple of other small jobs with more experienced members of the team, but I’d never been given the responsibility like we were at Craigielaw. This was another huge learning curve – while relaying information in real time with the HPR office, we essentially had to manage ourselves and our time to make sure we got all the video content required for the USKG social media.
This included sourcing some old-fashioned, 120-year-old hickory golf clubs from Jack White Golf Shop in nearby Gullane for a fun video, which the kids loved – and some even told us they preferred them to their top of the range gear.
The final element of the day was the official opening ceremony, where we scored some extra parent testimonial clips, drone shots and livestream footage for the USKG Facebook. It’s all in a day’s work for us PR lot – and I hope showed that the team’s trust in me was well-placed.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t go home that night on a total high. It was fun, frantic and full-on, but I came away from the golf course knowing we’d left our client happy and nailed all the key elements needed for the rest of the USKG delivery. And actually, I’d learnt a ton from the process too. That’s how you nail PR success!
Not bad for a girl who didn’t know an eagle from a birdie.
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