Posted by David Oates 4 years, 11 months ago


Major League Baseball recently held its 85th version of the All-Star Game, and if you were one of the 11 million viewers of the Midsummer Classic, you would have noticed how the telecast was centered on “big market” icon, Derek Jeter, shortstop for the New York Yankees. By the time the game was over, the difference in air time between content focused on Jeter and late San Diego icons Tony Gwynn and Jerry Coleman was glaringly obvious.

In fact, there was no mention of the two local legends, nor any other late baseball icons who passed away this year. The public backlash, which came as a result from the lack of acknowledgement by the MLB, prompted a response, on July 16.

Looking back on it, it was foolish for MLB to concentrate all of its efforts on one man. It would have been a classy gesture to mention something astonishing of the lost ones, such as how Gwynn struck out only 434 times in 20 years or Coleman putting service over self and temporarily walking away from baseball to serve for his country.

Baseball goes much further than just one team, and anyone who fell victim to this unfortunate lack of acknowledgement has every right to feel offended.

However, this truancy is a lesson which we can all use in our public relation lives.

By concentrating all efforts on the “big market man,” like Jeter, MLB taught the “little guys” a hard lesson about how they may be valued. In the real world, you would never want to go about business like that. If you disregard smaller companies like MLB did the smaller market teams in the All-Star Game, you will end up alienating a large amount of businesses, which could be of use to you, down the road.

So, just be smart about it. Remember to pay attention to those who deserve it, because, many times, it does not take much to keep people happy. The following are some examples of how to be more inclusive in your professional life:

• Do research. Whether it’s meeting a client for the first time or attending a networking event, make sure you have your facts straight and don’t ignore anyone in the room, regardless of their position within the company.

• Call the little guy or gal. Do not neglect a phone call to a smaller media outlet or little known expert because you think they may have less to offer. These sources are often more generous with their time and attention to detail, so you may get even more out of the conversation than you would with a larger organization.

• Do not treat smaller companies differently. If you plan on going above and beyond for the bigger clients, why not do so for the smaller ones, too? If you don’t, you may end up alienating a large prospect base; not to mention the bad habits you could create for yourself.


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