Since graduating college in May of 2016, my professional career has taken me on a variety of different adventures all leading me here to Speak Strategic.
My background is in sports. I grew up chasing a ball, playing every single sport imaginable. It was only natural that I decided to pursue a career in sports. During my junior year of college, I decided to get involved with the media department at Notre Dame. I learned the basics of cutting highlights, shooting video, running social media accounts, and speaking in front of a camera. All of which I have continued to use and foster in my various jobs since graduation.
So what in the heck do sports have to do with public relations?
It has everything in the world to do with public relations. The point of PR is to show yourself in a positive light, to show the world how useful and talented you are… to show people what they may not see otherwise, whether it’s your work in the community or your daily grind to better yourself or your company. Sports media is showing off teams, athletes, and organizations. It’s exactly what I do now, just the subject has changed to businesses, law firms, schools, and more.
Upon graduation, I interned as a sideline reporter for the Cape Cod Baseball League, the premiere collegiate summer league in the country where the top college prospects are selected to play from June through August in front of an array of Major League scouts. While the baseball was the best I’ve ever seen out of a compilation of such young athletes, my job was not to perfect a curve ball. My job was to show a player’s journey to perfecting that curve ball while highlighting the host family he lived with in the town he lived in with the people who supported him day in and day out. Through interviews, videos, and broadcasts fans become connected to athletes giving a talent context. This context is public relations.
I then moved to Charleston where I worked for the South Carolina Stingrays. Here I learned more about the technical and business side of sports. I learned how to run social media accounts for a team, while also conducting interviews and serving as the in-arena host. At the end of the day, my goal was to create a brand: a positive, upbeat, competitive brand that people wanted to come watch. The even better part is that if you have ever been to a game, I guarantee you that brand rings true. Brand management is easy when you believe in your brand and have clients that live out their brand. My job now is simply to show off my clients’ brand to other people and let the client do the rest.
I work as a play-by-play broadcaster for the College of Charleston. As a play-by-play broadcaster the key is to articulate clear thoughts in reaction to what happens during a game. The more I broadcast, the more it helps me formulate structured thoughts, tweets, posts, and sentences…. Or at least I hope! Words carry a lot of weight in today’s day and age … because you know what they say about the internet… once you post it, it’s never going away!
This being said, with my new job in PR, it has been fascinating to reflect on how my experience in sports has helped me with new clients. Just as I want my team to play hard and look good, I want my clients to work hard and look good. It helps to have sports as a baseline to always go back to. How can I make my client (the team) perform at its absolute best and show that success off to the rest of the world? The best part is, I still get to work in sports in a part time role with the Stingrays and the College of Charleston, so don’t worry, I can keep my skills fresh.
So now when people ask what I do, instead of spitting off a few seemingly random gigs, I guess I can just send them a link.