Lessons from the field: What PR’s can learn from the Rugby Six Nations Championship?

Written by Dani Kerby

Saturday 18th March 2017 – it’s not a date that jumps out for any particular reason, except to Rugby Union fans across Europe. That’s because this Saturday marks the culmination of The 2017 RBS Six Nations Championship.

A fiercely fought battle between six national teams – England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France and Italy – the 2017 cup has already been won, a week ahead of schedule, by England, for a second consecutive year. Yet, in four days’ time, the victorious team will once again stand on the pitch, this time facing the green shirts of Ireland, the only things standing in the way of the Grand Slam.

On the brink of what could be history, and with outspoken skipper Eddie Jones at the helm, I will be cheering for my team eagerly this weekend. Ahead of the game however, I’ve been thinking. What can PRs learn from Jones, the man who has seemingly turned England into an immovable object? Here’s a selection of some of Eddie’s best quotes and my interpretation of how they can successfully guide PRs:

“We don’t have anything to celebrate yet”

In short, don’t count your chickens before they’ve hatched. As PRs it is vital we pull out all the stops to create successful campaigns for our clients and giving up before the finish line will only end badly.

“Arrogance is only bad when you lose. If you are winning and arrogant, it is self-belief.”

Don’t be afraid of shouting about your success. New business prospects and existing clients want to know about all the amazing things you do, so be proud of your work and showcase your successes. PR your PR.

“When Muhammad Ali fought George Foreman, he had to find ways of getting around him.”

While we all hope the road to success won’t be winding and difficult to navigate, there will always be barriers in your way. When facing these challenges however, remember, there are plenty of creative ways to get around them.

“We cannot get ahead of ourselves. We are only the number two team in the world and we want to be number one.”

Keep going until you’re the best you can be and never give up. Ever.

“You always go back to what’s been successful when under pressure.”

And that’s okay! Sometimes we need that safety net, but it leads me on to the next point…

“Only idiots repeat failure.”

Learn from your successes, but even more importantly, learn from your mistakes. After all, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing twice and expecting a different outcome.

C’mon England!