From the time I was four years old and I stepped onto my first softball field, glove in hand, I knew that was where my heart was. As I grew, my love for the game evolved from one game to numerous. Now as a college junior, my dream of working in the sports industry is getting closer. After attending the session “Get Off the Bench: Sports Public Relations,” my decision has only solidified more. My passion is in the sports industry and I am confident that is where I belong.
Hearing from sports industry professionals, Beth Marshall, Nzinga Shaw and Rebecca Timms, provided me with brilliant takeaways on how to get a “slam-dunk” in the field. These takeaways will keep me from fumbling my overall goal, and give me an advantage on my sprint to my dream of working within the sports industry. Here are my takeaways from the “Getting Off the Bench: Sports Public Relations” session at the PRSSA National Conference.
Do the job first, be a fan second
If you grew up following the teams and athletes you work for, it could be very easy to become star struck. Employers do not want to know who your favorite team is, or how long you have been a fan. Employers want to know if you can do the job efficiently. Focus on the required skill sets and actions needed for the position – this will get you noticed by employers.
Be proactive – hone your public relation skills
Even if you cannot become involved in the sports industry right away, be proactive and take another job that will allow you to strengthen your public relations and communication skills. This way you will be better prepared for that future job opening. Employers cannot and will not hire anyone without experience – so become involved with as many beneficial activities as possible. Experience is the best and quickest way to get you to where you want to be.
Capitalize on any opportunity thrown your way
Opportunities are followed by experience and résumé additions. No matter the size of the opportunity, it allows you to strengthen your skills. Grab hold of every opportunity and seize it. Work hard and make the best of things.
Honesty and authenticity are crucial
If you are not being completely transparent, it will reflect in your work. If you do not know how to do something, or do not know the information needed, it is better to use the phrase “I’m not sure, let me find out” rather than provide false information or put yourself in a situation that can reflect poorly upon you. An employer will never penalize you for being honest with them; honesty can strengthen your relationship.
Focus on becoming an expert on whatever you want to do
Find your niche and perfect it. Expertise can increase your marketability and mobility. No matter the area or tactic you prefer, continue to work to make yourself the best public relations practitioner you can be.
“It is a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together.”
This unknown quote expresses my desire to join the sports industry post graduation. I find passion in sports and public relations, but having the opportunity to combine them is a dream come true. From the advice provided at the “Getting Off the Bench: Sports Public Relations” session, I am much more confident that I am headed in the right direction to begin my sports public relations career.
Natalie Gloady is a current junior at Waynesburg University, where she is majoring in public relations and sports information, while minoring in Spanish. She serves as the public relations director for WUPRSSA and as an assistant firm director for Red Brick Communications. Natalie hopes to pursue a job in the sports industry or as a social media coordinator post graduation. Follow her on Twitter or connect with Natalie on LinkedIn.