Originally published in the Boulder Daily Camera and the Longmont Daily Times-Call.

Hurry! Hurry! Omaha! Omaha!

Those words had a lot to do with getting the Denver Broncos to the Super Bowl.

Good public relations professionals know that those words also shout opportunity for businesses.

Companies and organizations excelling at public relations don’t just luck in to it. They plan. They understand the media. They know their audiences . Most importantly, they’re quick to recognize opportunities and seize upon them – especially unplanned opportunities.

Omaha, Nebraska, with a population of over 400,000, hit the big time with our Denver Broncos. We’re accustomed to Peyton Manning’s play-changing signals, but his shouts have significantly impacted many people living and working in Omaha. Today the flat-land city joins all of us on the international stage.

Today as you’re watching the greatest football game of the year, think opportunities. Think public relations.

Think of how savvy Nebraska businesses and corporations are cashing in on our quarterback’s calls.

Think of how they’re leveraging Peyton’s mantra into their marketing.

The Omaha Zoo proudly announced that their new baby penguin is named Peyton. Good for Omaha. Good for the zoo. And good for the lucky little penguin.

Five businesses pledged donations for each time Peyton Manning yelled, “Omaha” during the AFC championship game. Peyton called a lot of play changes at the line of scrimmage.

The Patriots had “Hurry! Hurry! Omaha! Omaha! ringing in their ears. Nebraska businesses donated more than $24,000 to Manning’s charity. Great public relations for everyone, except the Brady bunch.

The Omaha Chamber of Commerce produced and sent a video to the people of Denver and Colorado offering congratulations and pledging support for the Broncos today.

Omaha Steaks is capitalizing on its brand by running special ads and hitting social media hard. Many other Nebraska businesses are following suit locally, regionally and nationally.

Why does it matter?

Having a positive image always matters. It’s great public relations. When people feel good about a business, or city, they are much more likely to spend money with that entity. People who haven’t really considered Omaha as a destination now have it on their radar. Now we may experience a warm fuzzy feeling whenever we think of our neighbor to the east, even if we’ve never been there.

I grew up in Wyoming not far from the Nebraska border, but I’ve never been there. Once I organized a group of college buddies to drive east so we could at least step over the state line. However, Cheyenne stood in our way and so we settled there. Prior to Peyton, I didn’t give much thought to Nebraska, other than when the Cornhuskers come up, and that’s not a warm fuzzy feeling. But now I’m finding I like those people – especially those in Omaha.

How can you leverage current events in your favor? The most important thing is to be aware of current events. What is taking place that can be connected to your business? It may be obvious (think Omaha Steaks), but great public relations require creativity. Think out of the box. Can you link your business or organization to events taking place that will make the public feel good about you?

Some of the world’s best marketers today will unveil the ever-popular Super Bowl ads. Most ads will quickly fade away. Some will be talked about for some time. Many will generate extensive public relations campaigns associated with them, positioning companies to capitalize upon promotions long after the lights have been turned out in Met Life Stadium.

So my fellow Bronco fans in Colorado – and Nebraska – it’s time for another Super Bowl championship.

Hurry! Hurry! Omaha! Omaha!

Stacy Cornay is the owner of Communication Concepts Public Relations & Advertising. 
Visit www.comm-concepts.com or call 303-651-6612.

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