Thursday, July 8, 2010

King of Public Relations

By Chris Daley

I just searched “LeBron James” on Google and the top hit under “News for LeBron James” is a headline from, "LeBron James – Public Relations Genius." There are 4,473 “related articles” to this one headline with thousands of other related articles to follow. In a sense, I would agree that King James is a public relations genius. For this week anyway.

Here are a few reasons why:

• Timing is everything: This could be considered one of the slowest weeks in sports on the calendar year. I can’t think of a better time of year for this type of announcement to take place.

• Controlling his message well: I’m surprised that his decision has not leaked out yet. The people surrounding him that may know his final decision are doing a great job of keeping this thing under wraps for the big unveiling. Although we still have a few hours before 9 p.m. EDT.

• Charitable Component: Adding a charitable component when you have this much influence over the public is always nice. Having all the proceeds from tonight’s program on ESPN donated to the Boys & Girls Club of America is a nice touch.

• Taking advantage of the situation: King James and his camp are doing a great job to launch other marketing tools around this announcement which include a revamped and creating the twitter handle @kingjames that has over 310,000 followers in two days. I’d be curious to know how many people signed-up for his newsletter the past few days and what that database would be worth to potential advertisers.

Although I’m not an NBA fan, I am a fan of public relations and I would agree that someone in his position is taking full advantage of his situation. LeBron deserves this type of attention. He’s worked very hard to get to this point.

That said, I’m now curious to see how he handles his next public relations situation which could be making an impact in a brand new city, and leaving one that will have a lot of people angry.

Chris Daley is an Account Executive. Contact him at

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