When I was pursuing my bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism, from CSU in the mid-90s, I was fortunate enough to serve as a sports intern at KUSA, 9News in Denver. During that time, I attended a few Colorado Rockies games in the press box and noticed that the media received more than just the standard public-address announcements that the fans receive.
The press box had its own announcer who served as the Rockies’ public relations director.
He would say something like: “With his last hit, third baseman Vinny Castilla has tied Dante Bichette for a club record three doubles in one game.”
I would think to myself – “so this is how those reporters know all that stuff.” And then it occurred to me that the Rockies’ public relations staff has to put in a lot of work to have that information ready at a moment’s notice when it becomes relevant.
When I worked in the Rockies’ ticket sales department, about 15 years ago, I would receive an e-mail sent to all employees with a list of quotes that was also sent to a list of media members
Now, in the digital age, I’m sure the same thing happens in the press box and via e-mail, but media and fans can get access to the same information on social media.
The Rockies PR account, on Twitter, tweets out random states during the game that the media can use and that hardcore fans would be interested in. The Rockies also have a regular Twitter account geared toward the general interest fan.
In his book, “The New Rules of Marketing & PR”, David Meerman Scott wrote: “Remember, the easier you make a journalist’s job, the more likely she is to write about your organization, particularly when she is on a tight deadline.”
In a situation involving professional sports, the team is likely to receive coverage regardless of the amount of help reporters get from PR, but the level of depth (or amount of space the coverage gets on a news page) is likely to increase if the organizations’ media relations professionals give them more information.
It doesn’t appear as though the Nuggets PR staff has embraced the level of information that the Rockies and Avalanche, simply providing announcements for the media regarding availability of players and coaches.
Nevertheless, it’s clear that sports media relations have changed since my initial exposure to it, and thousands of followers have access to much more than they used to while the media has their jobs made easier through public relations social media accounts.