Tracey Mendrek, Executive Vice President

This past Saturday the sports world stood still for one single second as the Auburn Tigers ran back a missed field goal 109 yards to score the game winning touchdown over the Alabama Crimson Tide.  Tom Rinaldi memorialized it in the outstanding YouTube video One Second Lasts Forever that has stormed the Internet with over 1.3 million views and counting.

 It usually takes me more than one second to land on a blog topic, but it is often a series of “one seconds,” one here, one there, that get me in front of my computer to write.  So the topic of one single second in the scope of public relations led me to my computer this morning. No, this is not the sappy “what ifs,” but a more mindful review of how one single second pits “destiny against dynasty.”

PR 101 tells you to take one extra second to check for typos.  I wish I had that one second back, just this week, when a release went to the client with a proper name spelled wrong.  The email back suggested that we all looked bad when we don’t take one single second to make sure it’s Smith and not Smythe.  Not a life threatening mistake, but one second I wish I had back and one very good reminder of the basics of good communication.

Then there is the second that slips by when the last piece of advice to a client before stepping in front of the cameras is interrupted by the hand shake, the “I need a drink of water” or the “How does my hair look?” remark.  It’s one second gone and all you can do is trust that the thousands of seconds you spent nurturing the client leading up to that moment will mean that last bit of advice isn’t necessary.

There is one single second that has become ingrained in my PR life and that is the single second it takes to thank a colleague who worked hard on a client presentation.  Or the one second it takes to notice a client who could use a pat on the back.  Or the one second it takes to say I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you, but you have my full attention right now, let’s get this done.

Full disclosure, as part of the Auburn family, this one single second in sports has significant meaning to me, so for one single second humor me with a hearty cry of “War Eagle.”