Inspiration is hard to come by in any area of life. Coaches struggle to inspire the players they lead. Bosses find difficulty in motivating their employees and creating a spark in the workplace. Teachers look for new activities and lessons everyday that will stimulate the students to learn in their classrooms.
Tim Tebow is a player that found motivation from within to inspire teammates and admiring fans throughout the nation. His humble gesture, which was also annoying to some, of kneeling to pray, became a trademark throughout the nation known as “Tebowing.” Whether Tim had a PR staff advising him or not on how he responded to the pressures of the media, he was always respectful. He maintained composure, continued to answer challenging questions and ignored numerous degrading comments.
Zach Lederer is not a NFL star, or a famous NBA player that is coached by PR specialists on how to deal with the media. No guidelines were given to Lederer when he spontaneously trademarked a pose that became inspiration for those who are battling brain cancer. His pose, expressed in a similar way as “Tebowing,” became known as “Zaching.” It is a pose that was never meant to gain attention, but because of his tenacious and hopeful character, it became an inspirational movement for many.
Lederer, 18, has been battling cancer on and off since childhood. His muscle man pose was to “show everyone how strong I am right now, they’ll stop worrying about me and think,” he said. His dad posted the picture via social media and it quickly became a web sensation.
PR does not always have to be a thought out strategic plan to be meaningful. Inspiration does not have to come solely from people in the sports world; it can come from all categories of life. He promoted himself in the same way PR professionals work to promote their clients and companies everyday. The big difference is that Lederer’s pose was a genuine gesture and was not planned out.
Thousands of people, including my soccer team, have now taken on the action of “Zaching” and posted pictures on the web of their support for him and other brave people battling cancer. PR can be used in many different aspects and can result in positive or negative. I personally love when PR happens in the world around us on accident.
“Zaching” is an example of unexpected PR. Lederer did not plan out his media popularity or presence, it simply just happened. He created supporters and followers through a spontaneous action created by sincere belief. He is a true example of inspiration and his positive reputation is the type of reputation PR professionals spend their entire career working to build and maintain.