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PR Plays a Role on Super Bowl Sunday and Beyond

The Super Bowl's star quarterbacks. Image from Waggener Edstrom infographic. Link after the jump.

For the past week, we’ve been watching clip after clip of the upcoming Super Bowl commercials. Needless to say, the ads are a highlight of the game.

But the public relations industry is also excited for the event. The big game is not just a platform for creative advertisements, but for all of the PR and marketing that surrounds the broadcast at the game and elsewhere.

“For PR practitioners, there are several avenues to consider when thinking of ways to work with your clients around the Super Bowl,” Lisa Zlotnick, Lippe Taylor‘s VP of media told us in an email.

Strategy dictates that PR pros should pick apart the Super Bowl from every angle to find the ways to reach the target audience. Another example: fans of the game are interested in the minutiae of team interests and preferences.

“And this is an opportunity for PR,” Zlotnick’s email continues. “The media wants to tell this story. The key is to think of creative ways to incorporate your clients into one of the biggest nights of the year and get your brands out there.”

For the players and teams, the attention being paid, particularly during the big media day, is a chance to sell themselves to companies looking for sponsorship and spokesperson deals.

“Media day is quirky. It draws media from outside sports and asks different questions,” Susan Goodell, VP at Warschawski told us in a phone interview. A great example is Access Hollywood‘s Shaun Robinson, who used media day to ask a number of the players if they could name the cast of Jersey Shore.

“A lot of the opportunities are not about a football game,” Goodell added. Among those along the Super Bowl’s periphery who hope to capitalize on the game are all of the cities involved and local businesses.

For everyone, an important part of the Super Bowl marketing plan is extending the length of time you generate buzz.

“You don’t want to be a flash in the pan and then fall off the radar,” said Goodell. “Good marketing shouldn’t be rooted in an external force.” Rather the question PRs should ask themselves is, “Is there a way to integrate this into our marketing program?”

This year, the way to do that is through social media. Earlier this week, Lost Remote declared the Super Bowl the “year’s biggest social TV event,” pointing out that just about every brand, social network, and NBC, the broadcast network that’s bringing us the game, are incorporating social media into the day. Waggener Edstrom already has an infographic about the Twitter chatter around the game up to this point.

“When trying to drum up post-game buzz, brands are finding that the hashtag is the new URL,” opens a Fast Company story on the topic. Twitter has launched an “Ad Scrimmage” where fans can vote and monitor the talk surrounding Super Bowl ads in the week after the game. Brand Bowl 2012, brought to you by Boston.com, Mullen, and Radian6 will also be taking a closer look at the Twitter activity surrounding ads. And The USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter involves a Facebook partnership, the real-time Web, and a mobile component, all of this to maximize the social and sharing prospects of the day.

Linda Boff, GE’s global head of digital marketing, says in that story that FC story that Super Bowl success for the company isn’t just about sales, but also chatter. Warschawski’s Goodell proposed that all of the pre-game ad “leaking” was exactly for that purpose.

“Paid advertising is used to generate word-of-mouth and third-party credibility,” she said. That’s where PR steps in.

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