Advancing Associations

PR & Marketing – Showing Your Innovative Side3 min read

Aston WardAuthor: Aston Ward


Posted on: 3rd Dec 2016

My job title is Communications manager.  But it is very fair to say I am a marketer.  I deal with marketing and Public Relations (PR) everyday in various different ways.

Whether it is promoting a tournament, curating content from contributors, adding posts to our social media presences, or creating content around our education and golf development work, it is undoubtedly marketing.

We see, hear and touch (and often taste smell) marketing all the time, and the world of golf is no exception to this.  Ever walked into a pro shop and been hit with offers on the latest gear?  Ever been playing and at the halfway house you wonder why there is a fan directing the smell of bacon out across the ninth green?  How about winning a prize in a tournament that’s been donated by an equipment manufacturer?

What I really like about marketing (to talk about it in very general terms) is that it can really be simple, clean and effective.

PR stunts and activities are often some of the simplest (and most fun) ways of generating interest in something and getting people talking – and that’s what PR is really all about.  Here are some examples:

The ALS ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’

Simple concept – you film yourself being doused in ice cold water, you donate to the cause, and you nominate three others to do the same and so on.   [You can view our Chief Executive, Ian’s challenge below:]

Here the marketing focus was on generating funds and encouraging people to share that message through social media.  The ALS Association went from a previous year of $1.7 million in donations to $13.3 million.

Tiger Woods Hits a Ball From Europe to Asia

To promote the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final in 2013, Tiger took to Istanbul’s Bosphorus Bridge and after closing one side from traffic he launched a ball across the bridge.

It might have caused chaos at rush hour in Istanbul but the stunt went all over the world generating a huge amount of PR for the event and for Turkish Airlines who are renowned for working with the biggest stars.

Bubba Watson and Oakley Make a Hovercraft…

Bubba has form in this area – barely a week goes by where his sponsors have made use of his personality and liveliness to promote products and services.  Two years ago Bubba teamed up with Oakley to create Bubba’s very own fully operational hovercraft golf cart.

In the video he wears Oakley product but, as with many things like this, it’s not about the product.  It’s about creating something that is fun, shareable and gets people talking.

It was released ahead of the 2013 Masters where Bubba would hope to defend his 2012 title and to date has had almost 9 million views.

Creating your own hovercraft might be a step too far but it is always worth looking out for examples and see how you could apply the principles to your business, club or brand.

You might not reach millions but it can be a cost effective way of showing a fun and innovative side to a business and activating PR (stunts or otherwise) could well generate excellent quality interest in what you do.

Seen any good examples of golf PR?  Feel free to send then to aw@pgae.com.


My Reading List

  • ‘How Topgolf Flipped The Traditional Driving Range Model And Created A New Category Of Entertainment’ [Forbes.com] – http://eur.pe/1wUdQI6
  • Donald Trump: I’m Huge!’ [GolfDigest.com] – http://eur.pe/1MlTxoy
  • ‘Public Relations Tips and Tricks for Your Business’ [Inc.com] – http://eur.pe/184KH13
  • ‘My top tip for a great speech – Richard Branson’ [Virgin.com] – http://eur.pe/1x8Y2f7
  • ‘The psychology of Web design: How colours, typefaces and spacing affect your mood’ [TheNextWeb.com] – http://eur.pe/1ELQs06
  • ‘7 Goal-Setting Tips and Strategies for Social Media Marketers’ [Blog.Bufferapp.com] – http://eur.pe/1GyBrkH

This article originally featured in International Golf Pro News. Visit the IGPN Page to find out more and subscribe for free.

Aston WardAuthor: Aston Ward
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Aston is Communications Manager at the PGAs of Europe and is also a PGA of Great Britain & Ireland Professional Member.

You can get in touch with Aston at aw@pgae.com.