Public Relations and the National Hockey League

With more than 70 million fans in North America alone, the National Hockey League is a perfect example of how content can drive engagement with a brand. With creativity and engagement, the NHL has created an image that is unique and unlike any other professional sports organization. Here are some of the best lessons to take away from the NHL’s public relations teams.

They stay social

It is safe to say that the NHL is a content based company, attracting a large audience through their social media efforts. The organization produces hundreds of hours of game footage a week, all while increasing engagements on various social media platforms. Their audience consists of 3.43 million followers on Twitter, 3.7 million fans on Facebook, more than 555,000 subscribers on their YouTube channel and 227,000 followers on Vine. Each one filled with varied content.

They engage with their publics

Adding to your content is one thing, but engaging your audience is another. Whether it is through a contest or a street party, the NHL is known for their community engagement. For example, the Anaheim Ducks’ marketing team did just that for last playoff season with its #PaintItOrange campaign. They used a social media hashtag as a rally for the city to #PaintItOrange by decorating houses, cars and fan’s in the team’s color or Ducks’ apparel. Beyond just the launch of the promotion, the team was active in responding and retweeting fans’ posts. The organization also hosted a beach party to kick start the campaign, and sent schools throughout the region thousands #PaintItOrange T-shirts asking for creative group photos of students wearing them in return.

They are not afraid to experiment

The NHL certainly intended to do this when they partnered with GoPro to mount cameras on the helmets of players and referees, as well as hockey pucks, to give the audience a unique point of view. This experiment created a different style of production, where they players were now producing the product, and fans could feel up close and personal with players.


Zac Sniadach is a senior public relation student and a student athlete at the university. Zac is a member of the WUPRSSA Executive Board, serving as treasurer.  He also serves as a representative of Waynesburg’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes. 

 

 

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