Posts Tagged ‘sports’


The Similar Plights of Newspapers and NCAA Players

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014
flickr user danxoneil

flickr user danxoneil

This weekend I heard a lot about the controversy surrounding money and the NCAA big games. The NCAA makes money selling broadcast rights to the game; networks make money from ad sales; schools make money on ticket sales; and coaches make millions. Who’s not making money in this situation? The players.

Professional athlete I am not, but this plight reminded me of a situation I deal with daily, in which the revenue options of publications and publishers are circumvented, while public relations and advertising firms, which rely on those same publications to broadcast their message, continue to thrive. In fact, most PR pros recognize that traditional media is still incredibly influential in building a brand and telling a story, and media relations undisputedly plays a significant role in benchmarking and demonstrating results in the development and success of public relations campaigns.

So if the media is so important, why the misconception that the information that demonstrates results should be cheap or free? It’s not Google’s fault; they’ve already determined that news access is a loss leader to advertising revenue. But if there were no high-quality journalist-produced content to search, Googling would be a whole different ballgame, and the lines would be further blurred between editorial content and advertorial, if there were a line at all.

Apologies for the strained metaphor, but let’s extend the comparison to consider what the implications are in the NCAA version of content and media monitoring:

News alert = big game is televised

Article headline = Quarterback Makes Perfect Throw to Downfield Receiver

Article snippet/link = Receiver doesn’t miss a stride, but two linebackers are on his heels

Paywall = Broadcast signal dies for everyone except those who pay for a premium cable subscription or those with a credit card willing to pay extra to watch on demand.

PR using only alerts = Looking at the final score and using that data point to determine if a “play” was a success or failure.

PR using comprehensive copyright-compliant content = Provides play-by-play analysis, and sets up brand “linebackers” in the same or better position in the future to impact future outcomes.

Those PR pros who work diligently to secure placements for their organizations are the NCAA coaches. These PR pros are high-value with honed expertise; in fact, PR pros are doing so well, the 5WPR recently reported that they “achieved record-high financial revenues” in 2013. Such success warrants an increase in fees and retainers. But if the field is empty (i.e. high-quality editorial content further erodes), and there’s no way to broadcast a message, monitor its progress, and continually reposition, it’s like coaching an empty field, and suddenly, that value is gone.

So why is traditional media perceived as no longer having value? Because the digital age made some things free – or seem so. But the truth is, we’ve been paying for traditional media content since its inception. We paid for newspaper subscriptions for decades, so why is it no longer “worth it?”

With more access to metrics and our social habits, we should be leveraging all of the information to make our brands smarter; have a world-class offensive plan. Instead, too many people are taking shortcuts (like looking only at headlines instead of the full content) and sacrificing quality for quantity. If trends continue similar to those in this 2012 report, public relations’ value will continue to grow. But if you’re not working to curate information strategically or seeing everything included in your media content, it’s like watching every sports game simultaneously on a 20-inch screen. Sure, you can see there are games – many of them, all the size of postage stamps – but in the bid to see “everything,” you sacrifice really seeing anything at all.

Career Building Tips for Sports PR and General Public Relations from Rich Dalrymple

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012
Katie Levy, Southeast Missouri State University

Katie Levy, from Southeast Missouri State University PRSSA Chapter, tried on Rich Dalrymple's Super Bowl Championship ring exclaiming, "It's prettier than an engagement ring!"

Rich Dalrymple, Dallas Cowboys spokesperson and vice president of public relations and communications, recently spoke to eager PR students at the PRSSA Regional Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. In an earlier post, I shared a typical week in the life of Dallas Cowboys public relations.

Below are some of the tips Dalrymple offered during his presentation. While some suggestions are relative to PR students seeking a career in sports communications, others are timeless and can be applied to anyone working in PR.

1. Study the careers of other public relations professionals. Knowing where other people have been can help you figure out where you want to go with your career.

2. Hone your writing skills. “If you can write, you can do any job,” explained Dalrymple. He believes this is true as writing teaches you how to organize your thoughts, organize your ideas, and structure them in a way that others can understand. This is especially true in public relations. You can write speeches for the CEO, communicate messages to stockholders, explain policies to employees, etc.  If you can write and communicate well, you are able to organize other aspects of your life and business, too.

3. Work at your university’s communications office, university sports department, official events, etc. If you can’t do that, then find an off-campus job as an undergrad. You need real-world experience BEFORE your senior year. I was glad to hear him reinforce this as I’ve been advising PR students that if they’ve waited until their senior year to begin job searching and networking, then they’re already behind the eight ball!

4. Find a mentor. There is no substitute for shadowing pros and riding their coattails, so to speak. If you’re lucky enough to “find Superman,” Dalrymple said, hold onto his cape and you may find yourself taken to heights you’ve never been and maybe never could have on your own.  He uses himself as an example, saying that he hung onto one of his early bosses and mentor, making him in 1990 the youngest NFL PR guy at the age of 30! He did admit that luck also helps.

5. Find what you do well. Put yourself in a position to showcase those skills and attributes and a positive impression.  Dalrymple also stressed that you shouldn’t be afraid to start small—it’s okay if your first job(s) are not “sexy.” Find the decision-makers and get to know them and what they like. Dalrymple went on to say that so much of what you learn in public relations crosses over to advertising, marketing, sales, and other communications disciplines.  Yes, he said PR is sales – you’re selling ideas, strategies, views, concepts.

6. Read a newspaper every day. Online or in print doesn’t really matter, but read ALL the sections – not just sports, or just local, or wherever your interest lies. Read every section, even international. You need to see big picture of the news and world to know how and where you fit. 

7.  Figure out your dream job. Start mapping a path to get you there. He said “fantasize, and then strategize.”

What PR career building tips would you add to the list? Please share your thoughts with the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas by leaving a comment below.

A ‘Typical’ Week in the Life of Dallas Cowboys Public Relations

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012
Katie Levy, Southeast Missouri State University

Katie Levy, from Southeast Missouri State University PRSSA Chapter, tried on Rich Dalrymple’s Super Bowl Championship ring exclaiming, “It’s prettier than an engagement ring!”

Rich Dalrymple, Dallas Cowboys spokesperson and vice president of public relations and communications, recently spoke to eager PR students at the PRSSA Regional Conference in Nashville, Tennessee and I was fortunate to get to hear him as well.  He gave a rundown of what a “typical” week is like for him in Dallas Cowboys PR, along with a number of career tips.  

In this post, I thought it would be fun to share the “week in the life” and save the tips for a later post.

The weekly drama crescendos on Sunday – game day.

Monday (after Sunday’s game) he starts off by reading the newspapers. He catches the radio round-up while showering, and then reviews ESPN and other reports via his iPad. This is all before he even leaves the house! Once at the office, he preps for post-game press conference with the head coach to comment on all the analyses.

Tuesday the players are off, but this is typically the day when all the network pre-game shows are calling asking for interview appointments. He acknowledges this isn’t your typical media relations job as most would be begging media to pick-up a story but with the Cowboys, they have to “beat them off with a stick.”  Although, admittedly, Dalrymple does have to sometimes pitch the media for non-football stories, such as a player volunteering at a local hospital.

Wednesday and Thursday the team practices. He requests (pleads with) the players talk to the media as they open the locker room to the media after practice.

Friday also is team practice and Dalrymple spends time talking with broadcasters, feeding them tidbits of information that they can use for discussion and filler during the game broadcast. (I always wondered how those guys knew that a player, for example, just had a birthday dinner with his 100 year-old grandma. Well, now I know!)

Saturday is travel, or if a home game, then tying up loose ends with the players, the media, the coaches, and whatever / whoever else needs attention.

Sunday is game day. Dalrymple says he’ll arrive at the stadium at least 3-4 hours prior to kick-off to check on all last minute details. During the game, he sits in the press box and listens to be sure the broadcasters are not spewing misinformation or mispronouncing players’ names. He also plays host by ensuring food is available for the media, the Wi-Fi is working properly, etc. As soon as the game is over, they allow the players a 10-minute cool-off before opening the locker room for post-game interviews. He’ll usually be able to leave the stadium two and a half hour or so after the game.

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What is a typical day like for you in PR and the media? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment here on BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

Google Reinvents TV: YouTube Ad-Supported ‘Channels’ Bring Internet Television Closer to Reality

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011
WordPress Image: SierraAshley
WordPress Image: SierraAshley

How much exposure does one person need? I have my own Facebook page to post personal updates and photos and my own Twitter handle to speak my mind in “real time” — so why not a 24-hour “TV” channel, aka “The Harry Grapenthin Channel,” dedicated to my content (or lack thereof)?

As frightening and ridiculous as this sounds, Google continues to work hard at making this a reality (no pun intended). Rewriting the rules of television, Google has made it vividly clear how it intends to pursue its piece of the TV advertising pie. As a follow up to Google TV, the search engine giant recently announced it will be offering a software package that allows you to search the Internet for interesting things to watch and plans to launch 100 new advertising supported “channels” for its YouTube online video service, confirms The Economist. (Madonna, Shaquille O’Neill, and Jay-Z are some of many celebs already signed up to provide professional content). Just when we thought there were too many channels on cable TV, a channel per person or topic could mean millions more popping up on the Internet.

But what about live sports you ask? Google has that covered too. In fact, last month Google dipped its toes in the “live sports” waters for the first time when it announced the future launch of seven sports channels, including one that will feature programming from Major League Soccer. “What you’re seeing is a bit of a tip of the iceberg, explains Brian Bedol, a cable industry veteran who founded Classic Sports Television in 1995, in this Sports Business Daily article. “This is where the young male demographic gets more and more of its entertainment. If you’re in sports, you need to be looking at how you’re delivering sports over the Internet.”

Whether we get our television from networks, cable providers, satellite providers, online providers or “fill in the blank” – one thing remains the same, television content, as we know it today, continues to be in high demand and still commands huge advertising dollars … whether this continues remains to be seen. However, Google is betting that it does.

Media Outlets Leverage Mobile Apps

Monday, November 29th, 2010

by Carol Holden*

Surpurised young woman holding a mobile and shopping bagsFor me, it’s official – the world has gone totally mobile. The other night a commercial, on a kids’ cable channel my daughter watches, featured a Grandmother giving her little grandson (he looked about six to me) a tablet-reader for Christmas. I’ve been forewarned and won’t be shocked if my eight year old asks for one.

No wonder the rush continues for traditional media to expand to mobile devices, with some innovative apps already rolled out and others on the way:

  • The Economist just launched an enhanced version of its publication for the iPad and iPhone. Readers can tweak the layout and graphs so they can receive all the robust content of the magazine, but in a format that makes sense for a small screen. “You’re trying to recreate your print magazine but redesign it to make the most of the medium,” said Oscar Grut, managing director of digital editions for The Economist.
  • Oprah’s O, The Oprah Magazine has just released its iPad app to much fanfare. As described in the Marketwire release, “’I love the written word, and I love the iPad — to me, it’s another way to experience the intimacy of this magazine and its part of the future of the business,’ said Oprah Winfrey. ‘It’s a new way to connect with our readers, who are on a path of becoming their best selves.’”
  • New Corps’ Rupert Murdoch and Apple’s Steve Jobs recently announced they would be teaming up to create a new iNewspaper. “The collaboration, which has been secretly under development in New York for several months, promises to be the world’s first ‘newspaper’ designed exclusively for new tablet-style computers such as Apple’s iPad, with a launch planned for early next year,” writes Edward Helmore in this Guardian UK article. “According to reports, there will be no ‘print edition’ or ‘web edition.’”

In fact, there are already enough publications with apps (over 700) available to audiences and readers on the iPad that strategic research company McPheters and Company was able to put together a ten best list. “McPheters ranked the print-to-iPad products based on design, functionality and use of rich content.” The list presents an interesting mix of both newspapers and magazines covering the gamut of lifestyle, culture, politics, news, sports, food, fashion, etc. The number one spot went to The New Yorker app, with apps for newspaper circulation heavy-weights USA Today and The Wall Street Journal making the list at number eight and ten respectively. Fashion entrant Net-A-Porter made the list at number five.

Mobile applications are becoming such an integral part of the media landscape that other industry organizations are taking notice. The American Society of Magazine Editors announced that among the changes to the National Magazine Awards 2011, they will include a new award for mobile editions.

In this age of PR 3.0, how are you using mobile apps to connect with your audiences? If you use a mobile device to read newspapers and magazines, what outlets would top your list of best media apps? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

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Bio: I’ve been in the media business all of my adult life, first in newspapers before going full circle and joining BurrellesLuce, where I now direct the Media Measurement department. I’ve always enjoyed meeting and especially listening to the needs of our customers and others in the public relations and communications fields; I welcome sharing ideas through the Fresh Ideas blog. One of my professional passions is providing the type of service to a client that makes them respond, “atta girl” – inspiring our entire team to keep striving to be the best. Although I have been lucky enough to travel through much of Asia and most major U.S. cities for business or pleasure, my free time is now spent with my daughter, visiting family/friends, and of course the Jersey shore. Twitter: @domeasurement LinkedIn: Carol Holden Facebook: BurrellesLuce