Date: October 21, 2009
- Monica Sears, Public Relations Coordinator, Golden Boy Promotions
- Denise White, CEO, Entertainers & Athletes Group
Last week young professionals and students from all over the Los Angeles area met at MS& L for the PRSA-LA YP Sports PR panel. Denise White, CEO of Entertainers & Athletes Group and Monica Sears, Public Relations Coordinator at Golden Boy Promotions shared their raw insights and advice for breaking into the sports PR arena and succeeding in this stressful, yet rewarding, industry.
Hut One, Hut Two – Getting Started
- Denise started her career in broadcast journalism before making the jump into sports PR.
- Monica started her career at Brener Zwikel & Associates before joining the Golden Boy team.
- Starting off with an internship, specifically in sports PR, is recommended but not required.
- A little more than a decade ago, sports agents were required to have a law degree. Now that a law degree is no longer a prerequisite, clients are in need of PR representation with a solid law background to pick up where the agent leaves off.
Power Jab – Managing “Multiple Personalities”
- As a PR professional, you have to build a close, business relationship with your clients so you can feel comfortable telling them when their behavior is or isn’t acceptable. It is not uncommon to speak with each client at least one time per day.
- Athletes, celebrities, and almost any person for that matter, can be difficult to please. One of the most important parts of the job is learning how to deal with the multiple personalities you come across on a daily basis. Often times these multiple personalities all come from a single person.
- When you work with very young people who have come into a lot of money in a short amount of time, your job is to try to get them through the experience unscathed.
- Get to know everything about your client professionally and personally, and be sure to set your own moral compass aside.
The Underdog – Managing Expectations
- As you would do for any client, it is important to develop a PR plan specific to that client. Sit down with the client, get their buyoff, and be flexible as situations change.
- With the state of the economy and the changing face of media, big print results are harder to come by. As the amount of daily print journalists is dwindling, the industry relies a lot more on Websites for coverage rather than beat reporters from publications.
Boxer’s Shuffle – Important Skills
- You must be able to handle the athlete, do publicity and know the sport.
- Having a thick skin is very important in this business. Things tend to be told in very straightforward ways, and nine out of 10 times, the PR team tends to be the last group recognized for a success.
- Passion for what you are doing will help propel you through all the evening and weekend hours that are sure to come along with the job.
- Consider getting a law degree to help understand and manage legal matters after the athlete’s contract is signed.
- As with all PR jobs, professionals must have excellent writing, speaking, multi-tasking and organizational skills.
Touchdown – Networking and Finding the Job
- Team Web sites
- Women in Sports Wednesdays through EAG – www.EAGSportsManagement.com
- Even if the job posting says, “No phone calls please,” still consider making that call. Sometimes a little follow-up is all you need to make the short-list.