Kill-er PR Strategy: Low Expectations

Former Gopher football coach Tim Brewster promised “Gopher Nation” an immediate and dramatic turnaround! The most tremendous players in the nation!! Euphoric student body parades into the best stadium in America!!! A Rose Bowl!!!! And a tremendous pony for the first 10,000 fans through the gate!!!!!

New Gopher football coach Jerry Kill promises little. Underwhelming players. An okay marching band. No beer. Maybe, maybe, a win here and there. Hey, what do you expect, you’re the Gophers.

And Minnesotans are LOVING Jerry Kill.

We Minnesotans have grown weary of sales people. Before Coach Brew, we went gaga for Les Steckel, Red McCombs, Jesse Ventura, Jim Wacker, and many other hucksters who, it turns out, could politic better than they could perform. And they broke our little hearts.

As I’ve said before, expectations management is much more than just smart PR strategy. I believe expectations management is the key to a happy life. And Coach Kill’s anti-pep talks are a model of expectations management, though he would surely caution us about using a strong word like “model.”

Of course, we’ll turn on Coach Kill too when he inevitably – we are the Gophers, after all — underperforms even his low expectations. But at least when Gopher Nation’s next fall happens, it will be, thanks to Kill, from a much lower height.

– Loveland

9 thoughts on “Kill-er PR Strategy: Low Expectations

  1. Dennis Lang says:

    Yeah, no subterfuge with Jerry Kill and expressed with such sincerity we want to believe in him and that he will ultimately be successful. As a p/r stategy though fostering low expectations should probably be used very selectively I would imagine.

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      Dennis, I agree with what Minnesotan says below: “Underpromise and overdeliver.” I think that is almost always the best PR strategy.

      The thing I can’t tell, though, is whether Kill is cautious in his comments because a) he is a brilliant expectations manager and especially feels the need to be the Anti-Brew during this painful point in Gopher history or b) he is sincerely underwhelmed with the state of the team he inherited. I’m really hoping it is the former.

  2. Minnesotan says:

    You’re crazy. Gophers will be in the Rose Bowl by 2013!

    Seriously though, under-promising and over-delivering is usually the best plan of attack. If Kill can turn the Gophers into a disciplined, competent football team and not an easy W on the schedule of the Ohio State’s, Michigan’s, Penn State’s and Nebraska’s of the Big 10, he will be a extremely popular in this town. Mason was able to do that, but he was much too smug. Kill appears to be a straight-shooter, and we like that here.

    Also, if the media reports are accurate, many of the top high school players like him too – and he doesn’t even need to fly in on a helicopter to get their respect!

      1. Mrs. Fay says:

        It only looks like heaven….If you are over the age of 20 in New England, you are most likely waiting for the other shoe to drop. Is it better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all? I guess we should really ask Cubs fans.

  3. Dennis Lang says:

    Mrs. Fay–Very prescient. The other shoe did drop. As for Jerry Kill, no hucksterism there. At least fostering low expectations wasn’t a well-considered PR strategy afterall. The coach does have integrity.

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