The Edmonton Oilers hockey team is looking for a communications intern/assistant to start in August or beginning of September and work under contract with the organization for four months. If you want more information or would like to apply for the opening, please check out this website.
Reports directly to the Manager, Corporate Communications
• Communications Intern/Assistant is a full-time, four month contract (September 1st – December 18th) position that is recognized through an honourarium of $1050.00 monthly. A start date in August is possible if the candidate is available.
• The Communications Intern/Assistant position is responsible for supporting the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club Corporate Communications initiatives.
Kevin Sullivan wrote a guest post for Shutdown Corner, Yahoo! Sports’ popular football blog, with a four-point PR plan for Michael Vick. Sullivan has plenty of experience as he’s done PR for the White House, NBC Universal/NBC Sports, and the Dallas Mavericks. Two of his four points really resonated with me:
• Be humble. You will be under intense scrutiny for the rest of your life. You will always be the guy who killed the dogs. You can’t shout back at the protesters. You can’t be defensive. Listen to Tony Dungy as a spiritual adviser. He will help you and if he sees proof that you are sincere, he might even vouch for you one day. Pass on the reality show pitches. No bling. And, oh yeah: Please stop talking about yourself in the third person.
• Be generous. Reinstate your charity foundation and get back to doing good in the community. Pledge to donate tickets to youth groups and speak with them after every home game about how you went from the Pro Bowl to a prison cell. The best way to turn your mistakes into a positive is to use the experience to help at-risk kids not make the same horrific choices. That can be your legacy.
It’s obviously going to be a huge challenge for Vick in his return to the NFL (or attempted return) as well as the NFL team that takes a chance on him. Showing that you are truly remorseful and sorry for what you’ve done on top of giving back to the community in a genuine manner could really go a long way. And as Sullivan said, America likes giving second chances and if he can go about it in the right way and help a team win with his play on the field, I can see Vick getting a second wind in his NFL career.
The ATP World Tour is looking for a Manager of Media & Marketing to implement ATP World Tour media and marketing activities at tournaments and in the Americas. If you are interested in this position and want more info and/or to apply, please visit this website.
• Develop and implement ATP media and marketing activities with the objective to raise the profile, awareness and image of the ATP, players and tournaments in the Americas;
• Proactively develops, researches and pitches sports and off-sports story angles in the Americas;
• Represents ATP to on-site media outlets, responds to questions about players and ATP, facilitates interview requests;
• Liaises with Tournament Directors to coordinate player media and promotional activities and advises and coordinates these requests with players and their representatives;
• Acts as marketing consultant for designated ATP World Tour events;
• Handles all on-site media interview requests and assists in fulfilling promotional and sponsor-related requests for players;
• Coordinates all mandatory post-match interviews as well as one-on-one interviews; advises players on scope/content of upcoming interviews;
• Updates existing media contact databases;
I type this post to act as a warning for other professionals or hopeful professionals in the sports PR industry and I am not specifically trying to call out the Golden State Warriors PR director. With that being said, I felt like this issue needed to be brought up here.
On May 21st, Warriors PR director Raymond Ridder commented anonymously on a Warriors fan website (WarriorsWorld.net). Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News has more details about what exactly happpened:
In the comment, signed as “Flunkster Dude,” Ridder wrote that he appreciated that afternoon’s season-ticket-holder conference call, conducted by GM Larry Riley, team president Robert Rowell and broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald.
“I actually enjoyed the call and appreciate their honesty,” the Flunkster Dude wrote. (Full comment attached below.)
As PR director, Ridder was heavily involved in setting up the call, in large part to stem the tide of recent negative publicity about the Warriors’ front-office decisions and the shedding of former executive VP Chris Mullin.
After the afternoon posting, there was an immediate uproar on the WW.net site when the site managers revealed that they had traced the comment’s IP address to the Warriors offices.
If done properly, I have absolutely no problem with someone from a team’s PR department commenting on sport blog posts or message boards. However anonymous commenting never seems to be a good idea when it comes to this issue. If you don’t feel comfortable associating yourself and team with the comment, you probably should opt to forgo the comment altogether.
When it comes to message boards, a lot of the threads tend to have a negative nature for them. Just like sports talk radio, it’s easier for the callers to talk about something going wrong. There’s only so many ways to say that I love my team or am happy they’re doing well, but if a team is going through a tough time or a big loss the phone lines blow up. While it can certainly be valuable to monitor the message boards and see what the fans are saying, you also have to take that with a grain of salt and realize that you’re getting a certain subset of your target demographic. As a result, it may not be helpful to insert an official opinion from the PR department on certain topics, especially if the discussion is so negative that your comment would look completely out of place.
Personally, I used to be a fairly active member of a popular Red Wings’ forum and comment on a lot of Wings’ blogs before I started interning for the team. Since then I still visit and read what fans and bloggers have to stay, but I pretty much keep my comments to myself. I have two reasons for that decision. First, my comments would likely be more positive in nature just because I am a part of the organization and respect what we do. Since I don’t want to proclaim that I’m associated with the Wings in every comment or forum post, I just don’t leave any at all. Second, you have to keep in mind that you do represent the organization. Even if you are visiting these blogs and forums outside of work, you have to realize that people can find out your affiliation with the team and a poor comment could not only hurt the team but your personal brand.
Honesty is the best policy in this regard so please don’t anonymously comment on a blog or fan site if you work for a team’s PR department — it’s just asking for trouble. But that’s just my opinion, what do SPRB readers think about this?
Sports PR Blog is pleased to post an e-mail interview with Tim Bryant, the Director of Media Relations for FOX Sports Detroit. With over 25 years of experience in sports PR, Bryant knows his stuff and offers some great insight into his current job, past experiences, and career advice. Bryant has done PR for college athletics, NBA and NHL teams, and the International Hockey League as well as worked for a couple of newspapers as a reporter.
1) You have spent the last 11 years with FSDetroit as Director of Media Relations. What responsibilities do you have with your current position?
The most basic part of this position is to secure awareness through traditional and new media outlets for FOX Sports Detroit programming, on-air personalities, top executives and community initiatives. I wear several other hats, including: keeping our web-based content updated, editing our company newsletter, as well as coordinating and writing the promotional and sales-related copy that gets read by our announcers during the course of a telecast. This position also provides communication and research support to other departments (e.g. sales, marketing, production, programming) and pitches in to respond to viewer inquiries. I also serve on occasion as company spokesperson, and provide communications direction to executives and on-air personalities as they prepare to be the subject of an interview.
2) With more than 25 years of experience, you have had PR roles with numerous organizations at different levels. What was it like making the transition between different cities and sports? What tips would you give to someone adjusting to a new sports PR job in a different sport or city than their previous position?
Whenever shifting cities, I’ve found that that there is no subsitute for learning as much as you can, as quick as you can, about that particular market — learn about the newspapers, radio stations, TV stations, popular bloggers, etc.. Find out who does what at each media outlet, and reach out to those media members as soon as possible. Also reach out to other sports PR professionals in the area and use them as resources to help you get up to speed. Once you’ve researched the market and met a few folks, the adjustment doesn’t take long at all.
When changing markets or sports, I’ve always tried to stick with what worked in the previous locale. The city and/or sport may change, but the fundamentals of the job don’t. If you have a solid track record coming in, you will soon adjust to your new situation while enjoying the learning curve along the way. Also, rely on the experts within your company, such as a coach or executive who has many years in the business, and learn as much from them as possible.
If you know what you’re doing from a PR standpoint, nothing else should matter. When interviewing for my first job in hockey, I had to admit to the general manager that I was nothing more than a casual fan of the sport. His reply: “Good. We’ve got too many damn ‘experts’ around here as it is.” I’ve never forgotten that — it told me that they were interested in me for my PR/media relations skills, as opposed to my thoughts about how to fix the team’s power play!
3) While with San Jose, you and your staff received the Dick Dillman Press Box Award (best NHL media relations operation) three times in your four years there. What department characteristics and assistance did your staff have that resulted in the Professional Hockey Writers Association voting for your department?
Early in my career, it was instilled in me by my first boss that there was no substitute for quality media relations and it’s something I still believe in, even though the business has changed in many ways (now, the PR director is pulled in many different directions and the business if much more 24/7 in nature).
But in my mind, quality media relations means being willing to help the media in most any way you can, while always keeping the organization’s best interest in mind. Some examples: producing quality publications and press materials that the media can trust; knowing how to put on a news conference that informs and accommodates; providing effective pitches for story ideas (most print journalists appreciate good ideas and that you thought of them to write it); making media members feel welcome in your press box – especially those visiting from out-of-town; making your players/coaches/executives accessible to writers/broadcasters when possible; and never forgetting the “relations” part of media relations. The relationships with media members and other PR personnel, to me, are the best part of the business.
Bottom line: be helpful, not a hindrance.
4) Early in your career, you spent a good chunk of your time in the newspaper industry. What made you spend 8 years working in print media at some capacity and how did that help you later in your career?
Having worked in the newspaper business allowed me to have an understanding of the different needs of a beat writer, feature writer and columnist, and what the media relations department can do to help the journalist write an effective story/column.
It’s also good to have an understanding of what radio and TV journalists need to do their job effectively. It varies from medium-to-medium and it’s important that the PR person adjust their approach and execution accordingly.
Let’s say you’re conducting a news conference: If you’ve been able to meet the needs of a beat writer, a columnist, a radio reporter and a TV crew, you’ve had a good performance as a media relations professional and can appreciate what each media member needs to get out your message effectively.
5) What advice would you give to someone hoping to find a job in the sports PR industry? What experiences and character traits do you look for in a potential hire whether it’s for an internship or full-time position?
Are you organized? Efficient? Consistent? Personable? Good with detail? Do you understand that it’s not always a glamorous business?
Sure, it always helps to be a good writer and have creative ideas (and today, it REALLY helps to have a good understanding as to how to utilize new media/social media to your company’s benefit). But at the core, I’m more interested in the job/intern candidate that answers “yes” to the questions posed above. If that applies to you, I believe you’ve got a good chance to be a successful sports PR professional.
Major League Baseball is looking for a Grant Coordinator, which falls under the umbrella of community relations. For more information about the position or to apply, please visit this website.
- Maximize public relations opportunities surrounding the Baseball Tomorrow Fund – responsibilities include scheduling and coordinating media events and the BTF/MLB Equipment Day Initiative, coordinating press materials, requesting player appearances and working with MLB Clubs, minor league clubs and grant recipients.
- Assist with the grant application and reporting process – responsibilities include evaluating letters of inquiry and making recommendations to the Executive Director, conducting selected pre-award and follow-up site visits and overseeing the grant report verification process.
ESPN the Magazine took a look at dream jobs in the sports industry in a feature article in this week’s issue. One of the dream sports gigs was a media relations and promotions director. The link also features a video of the photoshoots below.
The website I linked to above allows you to pick your dream sports job based on your preferences. The Mag says that if “you always want to know who, what, where, when, and why” and “if you want to facilitate the story, not write it” than being a sports information director is the position for you. If you “like to see people have fun” and “if you want to do hands-on brand building,” promotions director is the ideal job for you. If you’re “humble and want to help others excel” and you “want people to act more comfortably,” you may want to consider a job as a media coach.
The Washington Redskins are looking for a Community Relations/Charitable Foundation intern for the upcoming season. For more information or to apply for the position, please visit this website. Please do not ask me how to get this position — I don’t know anyone at the team and have no say in the decision-making process. I’m simply passing this along to help you guys out. Good luck!
The Washington Redskins are seeking qualified individuals to join the Community Relations/Charitable Foundation Department as an Intern. The right individual will be able to work as part of a team or individually.
– Excellent communication skills required, both written and verbal.
– Superior telephone manner and etiquette are necessary.
– Above average computer skills are required.
– Proven experience to appropriately work with and around confidential information is necessary.
– Ability to work independently or as part of a team and ability to take direction is a must.
All internship candidates must be eligible to receive college credits. A proof of credit letter from your College or University is required. If you wish to become a part of this dynamic, fast-paced organization and you meet the requirements listed above, please apply online. (Note: Fall interns must be available to work on Tuesdays.)
Jay Preble, the former Director of Public Relations for the Tampa Bay Lightning, wrote a guest post for InternshipRatings.com and talked about how to get a job in sports PR. He tells it like it is and says that it’s going to be hard. In this industry, connections you make through networking is critical.
Most of you, unfortunately, aren’t going to get as lucky. We receive dozens upon dozens of resumes each season and many are from bright, hard-working college grads who would do well in the business. If we have an opening in our department, however, 95 percent of the time we’re going to hire someone we already know through an internship.
This is where it gets tough for most recent or soon-to-be college grads, because the market for sports internships (PR or other departments) is daunting. Most require extremely long hours (15-hour game days are commonplace in hockey) and provide little, if any, compensation. I’ve commented to many people that I never cease to be amazed by those college grads who find the means to move to a new city and work long hours for almost no money – just for the possibility of getting a job when the internship ends.
Most teams opt to hire someone that they have already worked with through an internship. Sure, there are exceptions. I intern with the Wings in their PR department. One person interned with the Wings before getting a job. Another worked in our marketing department for six years before making the move over to media relations. Another interned with the Detroit Tigers (the team shares the same owner as the Wings) and a former employee worked for the owners in a different capacity before moving to sport.
I don’t say this to discourage anyone. But it’s important to know this going into your job search. Unless you have great family connections, you won’t be able to get a job in sports PR without at least one internship.
Jim Loria, the president of Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL), took the time to answer six of my questions in an e-mail for Sports PR Blog readers. With 30 years of experience in the business side of hockey, Loria knows what he’s talking about and he was kind enough to share his opinions with me. You can check Loria out on Twitter and LinkedIn.
1) Your current job title is president of the Sioux Falls Stampede in the USHL. What types of responsibilities are included with that title?
Even though I am President of the franchise, I do not get involved in the hockey operations nor offer any input. We keep that separate, which I have no problem. My sole focus is to administer the business side, where my chief responsibility is to lead the way in securing and finding new revenue opportunities. That would derive from all facets of ticket sales, corporate sponsorships, promotions, community programs, special events and social media developments.
2) You stress the importance of taking sales courses, if possible, while still in college. Why do you make that recommendation?
Years ago when I tried to move away from my job in hockey (and my resume at the time was strictly geared to PR), I had such a difficult time finding employment despite a decorated hockey management resume. I was even told in a job interview that my resume at the time stated “I Couldn’t Sell a French Fry” and this quote came from a sports driven advertising agency – which made it hurt even more! I started to understand that the key to my future was to find a way to become a “revenue generator”. During my time in Washington, my Caps’ boss used to always preach to me that “I wouldn’t become ‘someone’ in my life until I totally understood how sales, marketing, community, promotions, special events, etc. , all intertwined and rely on each other to succeed!“
I must say, that it’s not a coincidence in the last few years, leading sports management teaching schools like Ohio University and Rice University are now implementing full fledged ”team sales work” into their course curriculums!
3) Back in 1997, you ran the PR and Community Relations department for the Carolina Hurricanes. What job duties did that entail?
Creating and managing all special events, community relations, which included the team’s charitable foundation and public relations.
What made this position unique was that we were not only introducing a new sport to a city like Raleigh and to the state of North Carolina, but there were several large cities of the same size within 90 miles of our home base, so it was like developing multiple markets at the same time. What we did in one city, you sometimes had to duplicate that same effort in another. I remember that year putting on well over 30,000 miles in my car traveling the communities to promote the Hurricanes!
4) Your 17-20 year-old athletes are critical for your team’s success off-the-ice in Sioux Falls, SD. What type of characteristics do you try to instill in these players and what off-ice responsibilities do they have with regards to the team?
We teach the players “how to smile!” The best part of my job at the junior hockey level, is that we (coaches, more so, and management) truly have an impact on our players’ personal lives. You don’t get that feeling as much in the minor pros or in the big leagues because the agenda is totally different and the players look at their roles in much more of a business sense. In Junior Hockey, we recruit the players here as teenagers and watch them leave as mature young adults; many, who have changed from a shy person to an outgoing personality; one that now has a plan for life, be it as a career business person or as a hockey player with pro aspirations.
Our players constantly appear at elementary & middle schools locally, bringing a message to the kids on “how to be a good teammate!” We have them on radio stations to learn how to deal with the media; our TV reporters provide the kids assistance in developing good interviewing skills. We’ve had cooking classes for the players. It’s an incredible well rounded education that you just don’t see at most levels of the sport.
5) You helped start the Stampede Foundation for Kids, which has raised over $500,000 for the community since its inception. What made you decide to create this foundation and what types of challenges/rewards have you had as a result?
Our Stampede Hockey “Foundation-For-Kids” distributes grants each year to a variety of local children’s charities. From the inception of the franchise in 1999, we vowed that the club would be a good “teammate” to our community. One area that we could make the biggest contribution was through our Kids Foundation, to provide goodwill and financial support to those less fortunate. Our PLAYERS are HEROES to so many KIDS in this community! They can be difference makers and we teach our players (and organizational members) how to get involved. We teach our players how to communicate. Most importantly, our involvement in the community allows our fans numerous opportunities to meet our product – our players, who are our marketing agents. The players can influence a customer quicker than any other form of advertising we purchase. They help enhance and shape our “company brand image”.
From the onset, we made it a goal that we would host one Stampede team event monthly during our seasonal play. This would feature each of our players and involve local charities (who receive 50% of the event net proceeds). This successful business model has raised and distributed over $500,000 to local charities in ten years. It’s quite a nice contribution, one that we are immensely proud of as an organization and community citizen of Sioux Falls, SD!
6) What advice would you give to someone hoping to find a job in the sports PR field?
Expose yourself to all aspects. Internships are the best way. Don’t limit yourself to just one – do sample a few. Spend time honing your writing and speaking skills without question. Learn how to get in front of larger groups, especially your peers, and speak. Communications is vital. Never slack off when it comes to communicating with your employer, your client & customers. You’d be amazed with how much equity you build up in the eyes of your customer/employer when you follow up on a task regularly and especially dealing with a situation/job task verbally versus e-mailing/texting in your response.
On the flip side, you can have the most decorated resume in the world but if you can’t “smile”… “look someone in the eyes”… “effectively communicate”, than the resume is wasted. I don’t think I am off base by saying that with most employers today, your resume (or referral contact) can get you the interview, but it’s that first glimpse of you & the employer when you first meet that probably cinches half of the door opening up for you or staying closed. How you dress matters! Just like a meal at a restaurant. First time your eyes gaze on the look of the meal delivered by the wait staff member will make your taste buds ramp up or turn off.
That’s why internships are so important. You are on display everyday. Your work is measured. Your ability to figure things out. Do you come up with solutions for problems you may incur or complain? Do you get along with others internally & mesh in with all departments? I’d rather teach someone knowing that the individual & I connected the dots to one another, than take a resume star who’s on another agenda.