I just wanted to quickly apologize for the lack of posts over the last two weeks. Between finals and work as the U-M hockey season ended and the Red Wings geared up for the postseason, I have been swamped. Sadly, I just haven’t had time to blog on top of working 50+ hour weeks, 18 hours of class, and countless hours of video editing and studying at the library for classes.
Things should lighten up by Wednesday or Thursday and I know I’ll have plenty to blog about as my PR Week and Sports Business Journal issues are just piling up. As soon as I can get a post up, I will. I just wanted to say something so that you guys didn’t think I had abandoned Sports PR Blog.
I also hope to have a couple interesting interviews for SPRB in the coming weeks so please stay tuned for that. Thanks for your patience and understanding!
Here’s some information about a recent job opening with the Edmonton Oilers. They are looking for a Community & Fan Development Coordinator, which looks like a fantastic opportunity for anyone looking into community relations. For more info and to apply, please visit this website.
• Reports directly to the Manager, Community and Fan Development
• Community & Fan Development Coordinator is a full-time, benefited position
• The Community & Fan Development Coordinator is accountable for executing and administering various Community & Fan Development initiatives, along with Retail & Licensing initiatives, maintains excellent working relationships with internal and external constituents, including hockey operations, and serves as project manager for assigned departmental events. Works closely with the Manager and other staff to deliver departmental programs and initiatives.
So I saw this blog post in Slap Shots, the New York Times hockey blog, about a former Buffalo Sabres PR professional named Paul Weiland who loved sending out fake press releases on April Fool’s Day. While I could never see something like that flying at the places I have worked at, it was certainly an entertaining read. Weiland had successful jokes spanning from the 1970s through the 1990s.
“This was Paul’s favorite holiday,” says Gerry Helper, who is now the Predators’ senior vice president for communications but who got into hockey when Weiland hired him as an assistant 30 years ago. “He told me I was going to write all the releases except one, and that was the April 1 release. He did that every year.”
While the post details quite a few of Weiland’s great jokes, my favorite one is below because Weiland went all out in an effort to make his prank believable:
In the early ’80s, around the time WTBS had crowned the Atlanta Braves as “America’s Team” and the Dallas Cowboys were also referring to themselves by the same slogan, Wieland got the idea that the Sabres should be “America’s Hockey Team.” He had a graphic designer work up a cover of Time magazine trumpeting the Sabres’ new status with Gilbert Perreault’s picture on it. In the upper corner was a note that one could read President Reagan’s proclamation about the Sabres inside. Paul had actually written a letter to Mr. Reagan about some triviality, just to get a letter back on White House stationery with the president’s signature.
“A little cut and paste and some words, and he had worked up a proclamation,” Helper remembers. “Shortly after, I know Paul got a call from the White House and they told him, ‘We don’t want you to think the White House doesn’t have a sense of humor, but you can’t take liberties like that.’ He got into a little trouble for that one.”
Does anyone have any great April Fool’s Day jokes (sport or not) that they were a part of or knew of?
If you have followed the movement of sports teams and athletes onto Twitter, then you have already heard of Kathleen Hessert (@kathleenhessert). She’s the brains behind Sports Media Challenge and the reason for Shaquille O’Neal, Steve Nash, and many sports teams for being on Twitter. The blog 9 to Fried posted a great interview with Hessert that warrants a read. Here’s an excerpt from the interview, but please go read the entire thing.
Do you think right now it’s not an issue because Twittering hasn’t hit the real mainstream? For example every coach might not be aware of what it is or what it entails.
Let’s use Shaq as an example. When Shaq said last week he was going to Tweet during halftime and not get fined, and he Tweeted that at hours before the game and he and the coach, who also has a Twitter account, where asked about it, the coach said “if he puts up 25 points and grabs 11 rebounds he can do whatever he wants.” Now, here is a coach, that gets it, but also uses the Twitter.
I think that just goes to show you how much people as a society, and sports fans, need instant gratification and feedback. Do we really need to talk to Shaq in the middle of a game? No. Is it cool? Absolutely.
Yes, exactly. I have to give the Phoenix Suns a ton of credit. When I launched Shaq on Twitter last fall, we immediately connected and collaborated with the front office. They put a person on Twitter and built and leveraged what Shaq was doing to build a stronger fan base. It was phenomenal. They held Tweet-ups which have sold tickets to games for them, they have built a fan loyalty that I would suspect rivals that of any team in the league. Or any league for that matter. So it doesn’t surprise me that no one in the front office or on the team has an issue with Shaq tweeting during a game.
The Bakersfield Condors hockey team (ECHL) is looking for a three-month intern that could turn into a full-time position. The intern does receive a $500/mo stipend during the trial period. For more info and to apply, please check out this website.
WHEN: Immediate – or if individual is finishing up school, shortly after graduation.
• Writing press releases, blogs, feature articles, and misc. editorial content
• Maintenance of various web site elements and content manager program
• Production of e-commerce materials including newsletter
• Compiling statistical and editorial content of team media guide, game notes, web site, etc.
• Production of game notes and preparation of press areas on game day
• Serve as color commentator and secondary play-by-play broadcaster for team over radio, television, and internet
• Proactively solicit media interviews
• Assist with community relations department
Bill Smith at Dr. BS: The Road Scholar takes a look at how the Assistant/Associate Athletic Director for Sports Information/Communication average salary is less than other counterparts in the athletic department.
The national average for our administrative lead positions: $46,020.
That’s the only position in athletics under $50,000. It’s about $10,000 less than the average for the asst/assoc ADs of compliance (you know, when you think about it, another shame on our field). All other positions — over $60,000.
It’s a good read and another friendly reminder that if you want to make money, don’t go into sports PR.