Three Things I Learned at the Bassmaster Classic
I’m still riding the high of another successful Bassmaster Classic – my third Classic and the fourth for FCPR. I’ve learned a lot by managing media relations for the event and definitely couldn’t have done it without my team at Full Circle and the B.A.S.S. Communications team. It’s a great partnership and one that not even long hours and close quarters can shake, which is pretty impressive.
This year I took away three things from the event that I want to share. These can easily be translated to other events and dealings in the public relations industry.
- 12 degrees (Fahrenheit) really isn’t that cold… when you don’t stand still. I attended launch the first morning of the Classic to coordinate media interviews – the first crew call was at 3:30 a.m. We had three local TV stations on site and The Weather Channel – yes, the “real” weather channel (I did get asked that). I worked with the B.A.S.S. team to determine the best location for each of the TV stations to set up, noted it on a map and then sent versions to each producer. This is something I always do because one, why wouldn’t you carve out the exact location you want media, so that your brand is maximized in all footage, and two, it makes the media’s job easier – which keeps them happy. Seems like a no-brainer, right? Well, in my conversations with The Weather Channel producer, I learned that she usually has several hours of scouting when she goes on location to make sure they have the best vantage point possible. At this event, we did the work for her – wouldn’t you do the same if it meant maximizing coverage and fostering good relationships? I hope the answer is yes, but based on my conversations with the producer it’s few and far between.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate, and no one will be upset with you. Each year at the Classic, we have several radio stations that broadcast live. Fishing Florida Radio joins us for the Classic every year, and I am always there to make sure they are set up and ready to go with angler interviews during the show. This year we got a curveball – we were unable to secure phone lines at the launch site, tried digital phone lines and even looked at setting up the show from the media center sans angler interviews. We worked and communicated diligently to the Fishing Florida Radio team on the situation and all that we were doing to get them set up to broadcast, but in the end, they had to cancel the show. To say I felt terrible is an understatement. After I learned of the decision, I tracked their team down to check on them and see how they were. To my surprise they were all a little excited about the chance to sleep in on Saturday. They knew our team had done everything we could to help them, so despite my worries, they were happy and excited about having more time to sleep and check out the Expo before Saturday’s weigh in.
- The high of a major event is unlike any other. Every year I wonder how I’m going to function on the minuscule amount of sleep I get during Classic week, and each year I am reminded that the hustle and bustle of the event is what keeps me going. I truly enjoy what I do and my clients. Even a little sleep deprivation can be cured by a great event and wonderful people to work with – especially when they bring you breakfast at 5 a.m.!
I hope these lessons give you a little insight to what we do at Full Circle and provide you with things to think about as you prepare for your next event. To cap off the amazing experience we had at this year’s Bassmaster Classic, I saw this letter in our local newspaper – a member of our community thanked the media for the great job they did covering the event. Now that’s the icing on the cake!