[By Anna Taylor]
Graduates of a public relations program should have the same set of basic skills: researching, writing, editing and managing social media. But some industries require more; and sports is one of those industries.
The sports industry is a niche market. It’s a small community filled with passionate people and opportunities to break in can be few and far between.
We spoke to three experts from sports PR who gave us their tips on how to jump into this field. Just keep in mind that each individual sport has its own specific demands.
“Dedication, adaptability and being a quick thinker are essential in such a fast-paced work environment. Game days are long. You need to know everything before it’s pointed out to you. Be proactive and not reactive. When it comes to dealing with players and coaches, you have to be flexible in your needs to make sure they are comfortable to get them to do what you want.” – Chris White, Sports Information and Marketing Officer at Georgian College
“Coming into an entry-level position, you’ll be doing a lot of the hands-on media content creation, so you’ll have to do a lot of different things when called upon. Try to be as organized as possible, because you have to wear a lot of different hats. In terms of social media, which is our biggest thing right now, you have to make original content and really tailor it to your audience while fighting against putting out content for the sake of putting out content.” – Mike Hancock, Director of Communications and Lacrosse Operations at Toronto Rock Lacrosse Club
“A new recruit should possess communication skills, writing skills, research skills and definitely relationship-building skills. In addition, someone with attention to detail and the ability to adapt to an ever-changing environment would be advantageous.” – Abby Albino, Public Relations Manager at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment
The experts agree: adaptability is the key to securing a position in sports PR. Many sports teams have small business operations teams, which means there is significant overlap between departments. You should always be prepared to do anything that is asked and of course, wear a variety of hats.
(Photo by Anna Taylor)