“Ever since I was a young child, my adoration for the game of tennis has run deep. Starting at a tender age, I competed fervently and proudly represented Barbados on multiple occasions during my formative years, even earning a couple of CARIFTA medals along the way.
“Before the end of my teenage years, my passion for the art of communication and storytelling began to take shape. Over the years I served as a sports reporter, foreign correspondent, United Nations correspondent, communications consultant, news anchor, talk show host, non-profit communications director, airline and event communications advisor, columnist, and now, full-time public relations consultant.
“Intriguingly, there are notable parallels between these seemingly unrelated realms, similarities that reveal the significance of strategy, delivery, and respecting boundaries.
“Just as athletes must limber up before stepping onto the court to be match-ready and prevent injuries, professionals in the field of public relations must establish a clear strategy and agenda before diving into assignments on behalf of their clients. By investing time to assess the situation and devise a well-thought-out plan of action, they can navigate their work with heightened effectiveness and minimize the likelihood of unnecessary mishaps.
“Once play has begun, the concept of favouring high-percentage shots in tennis aligns seamlessly with the approach employed in public relations. On the court, it often makes sense to opt for shots that have a higher probability of success, rather than attempting risky, low-percentage shots.
“Similarly, in the world of PR, professionals strive to create messaging that is most likely to resonate with their target audience. By prioritizing clear communication and focusing on building meaningful connections, public relations practitioners can amplify their chances of achieving the desired outcomes.
“An invaluable lesson derived from tennis that directly translates to the field of public relations is the importance of keeping the ball in play. Players aim to avoid hitting the ball out of bounds, which results in a lost point. In PR, it is paramount to maintain control over the narrative and refrain from making statements or taking actions that could backfire or inflict reputational damage.
“By operating within the boundaries of professionalism and integrity, PR pros can establish trust, nurture positive relationships, and effectively represent their clients or organizations.
“Both tennis and public relations demand meticulous preparation, an emphasis on solid connections, and a focus on achieving the desired outcomes. By recognizing these parallels, professionals in the field of public relations can draw inspiration from the principles of this ‘gentleman’s sport’ to enhance their performance and achieve more wins for their clients.
“As we enter a new week of challenges and opportunities, whatever your field of endeavour, serve up and unleash some winning strategies!”
Born in Trinidad and Tobago and raised in Barbados, Bevan Springer is an award‐winning journalist and seasoned PR and marketing professional who has worked as the North American correspondent of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union and contributed for media houses such as the Caribbean Media Corporation, the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation and St. Lucia’s Radio 100.
He is well known to the Caribbean Diaspora in the New York tri-state area, having hosted several radio programs, including the weekly five‐hour radio show, ‘The Caribbean in Five’ on 1190 AM WLIB in New York. A weekly columnist with New York’s Amsterdam News, Bevan’s international reach includes contributions to the Trinidad Guardian, BBC World Service, New York Daily News, 1600 AM WWRL, UN Radio, and WNBC‐TV in New York.