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Getting into SID/sports PR field

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Situation, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. Situation

    Situation Member

    Need a little help here. I have worked as a sports writer the last seven years, at two newspapers, covering two Division I college beats. With the newspaper business being like it is, I desire a move to the sports PR field. I applied for a handful of entry level positions at universities big and small over the summer and fall, but received no interest whatsoever. It's obvious my lack of experience in SID work -- I don't know stat crew and have never worked in an SID office -- is holding me back.

    So now I'm trying to gain a little experience in an office. For those who have made a similar transition, I was wondering what more I could do to nail down a full-time gig? What do I need to do next basically?

    Thanks in advance for all of your thoughts and comments.
  2. nmsports

    nmsports Member

    I tried to make this same transition. But I only have 25 years in newspapers with some 15 years covering the university in question and every one of its sports programs. Even had references from college administrators and coaches. So what did that get me? Not even the courtesy of a "thanks for the interest but no thanks" call or email. I guess I'm not quite qualified to be able to put out the daily, "wow, we're still good despite what you may hear elsewhere" releases.
  3. SpeedTchr

    SpeedTchr Well-Known Member

    Get as much experience as you can with design software (InDesign, Photoshop, etc.), do what you can to learn StatCrew or at least be familiar with how it works. The SID business sucks almost as much as the newspaper business, and the money isn't much better. The only bonus -- not as many evil scumbag owners involved.
  4. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    I don't know. School presidents and athletic directors are a, umm, unique bunch.
  5. Chili Polar Bear

    Chili Polar Bear New Member

    25 years experience = desire for decent salary. That is why you never got a call back. The university in question assumed (probably correctly) that you wouldn't be interested in making $25K.
  6. nmsports

    nmsports Member

    Actually, position paid significantly more than $25K and the salary was posted. So presumably, by applying and jumping through the many hoops to do so, the university could figure that salary wasn't an issue on my end. I think CoSida folks just have an inherent mistrust of folks from the journalism end of the spectrum.
  7. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Talk to an SID at a local university and see if you can volunteer on some game night stat work or whatever. They always need an extra body who has a competent brain.

    I was an SID for several years and just last week wrote a story about the business and a couple of SIDs at area universities. You won't get rich, but if you don't mind the insane schedule and hanging out with a lot of college kids, it can be good work.
  8. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    I was considering this back in the 80s when I was finishing up college, and even then, a lot of places wouldn't even look at you if you weren't in or on a track for grad school. Not sure if that's the same today, though.
  9. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    Please don't grow up to be Steve McClain.
  10. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    When you have NAIA schools asking for five years of SID experience, it's going to be tough. Unless you're moving to an SID role in the town where you're working in, the chances of a career shift is tough.

  11. UNCGrad

    UNCGrad Member

    I made the switch, and I'm grateful I did. I was a former small paper SDE, and now I'm at a 6,600-enrollment D-II school with 10 varsity sports, and I'm an assistant SID, so there's help. I feel like I'm in a pretty good situation -- working for the best SID in the conference who's way ahead of everybody else, and at a state institution with state benefits, etc. I worked like hell to sell myself on this one (didn't have to move -- juts a bit of a commute), putting together a 10-page packet of info about how I felt someone with a newspaper background could benefit an SID office. My boss told me it made all the difference in the world.

    Certainly, there are differences in the gigs, and while I haven't completely picked up inputing stats for StatCrew (far from it, actually, though I'm learning), I know my way around the system after using it for a few months to do what I need to do. Heck, we contract people to keep stats anyway.

    Are the hours sometimes long? Yes. Do we do a lot of game operations and setup? Yes. Is it better having absolutely no one complain about your writing over the course of the last six months? You bet. And the three weeks I was off over Christmas were pretty spectacular. And I can't wait for May.
  12. newspaperman

    newspaperman Member

    IMO: Like most jobs, I'm sure you have to know someone that currently or previously worked at the place you're applying. It's good that you have experience in the sports industry, but I've figured out that if you know the right people, things have a way of working out.
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