By Phil Lanides
(Phil Lanides looks on during an MMA bout)
I’ve been working in public relations now for over seven years, and during my time in the business, I’ve worked in a true variety of industries. Tech, entertainment, theatre, religion, and… MMA. Like I said, a variety! I’ve been asked what some of the differences are, and while there definitely are some, for the most part, since the goal is pretty much the same across all industries (to get media attention), the approach doesn’t vary all that much.
The number one difference across the PR verticals: The People.
During my time in MMA, I have dealt with some of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet. Some assume that because these men and women punch other folks in the face for a living that they’re roid-ragin’ maniacs.
Quite the opposite.
It’s only my opinion, but since fighters are training in a very physical manner on a near-daily basis, they get out their aggressions and frustrations regularly at the gym. As a result, they’re a little calmer than your Average Joe. Again, just an opinion, but my experience backs it up.
Now, there are exceptions to this. I was at an event a couple of years ago that got canceled at the last minute. One of the members of the promotions team got it in his head that I had somehow tried to sabotage the event. This man was well over 6-feet, and a professional kickboxer who competed on The Ultimate Fighter. He got nose-to-nose with me (well, my nose to his chest) and ended up shoving me. If some of the fighters hadn’t pulled him away, he would have really gone after me.
That’s never happened in the tech or entertainment world.
Still, it was an isolated incident. But when you’re dealing with the fight world, anything can happen. Tech has its challenges as well, but I don’t expect any laptops to be hurled at me anytime soon.