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Qualifications needed to work in a college's media relations dept.

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by budcrew08, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. budcrew08

    budcrew08 Active Member

    The thread title says it all. I would love to move from newspapers into a job working for a college's (or pro team) media relations department. (Maybe not right away, but if the timing is good).

    What do you need qualifications-wise? I never interned in my school's SID office or anything like that, so I don't have any experience working with some of the programs (STAT- something or order.. I don't even know the names) and all my experience is working as a reporter or editor for daily papers.

    So for someone with a decent resume *pats self on the back* ;)
    What are media relations people (SID, AD, etc.) looking for?

    Thanks for the help.
  2. MCbamr

    MCbamr Member

    They're typically looking for their friends or other people who already work at schools in their conference. Unless you want to go to work for Division III Podunk Tech, in which case the qualifications are no family, no life and no requirement for sleep (or much of a paycheck).
    Actually, the top qualifications for SID type jobs is the same as journalism: a degree in journalism and a good bit of experience (student worker or intern) in that field. Ability to do your own desktop publishing would also be nice, along with knowing the stat programs you reference. Beyond that, connections, connections, connections. And waiting for somebody with a job to die.
  3. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    OK, I'll try to overlook some of the snark in the first response and give you an answer.

    For me, the same skills that made me a sports editor helped me get this job.

    *People skills. That's the key in either job. As SE, I dealt with lots and lots of different people in and out of the paper. In my current job, I deal with lots and lots of different people in and out of the department. If you can't do that, don't even begin to look for a job like this. Customers, editors, readers, staff *** fans, administrators, media, staff.

    *Organizational skills. Lots going on at newspapers and in athletic departments. Can you keep it all straight? This is even more important if you are managing. My staff now is MUCH smaller, by about 20 people, and I like it that way. The more people you have, the more chance for problems and issues. I loved my staff at the paper, I'm getting there with my current crew.

    *Write a lot and write fast. We have our own medium now, our Web sites. We provide the copy. Our basketball contact on the road has to deal with postgame, getting stats updated, getting a story on to our Web site and out to our media list and do it all in pretty short order.

    Most of the rest I am learning and can learn. The stat programs? The Web stuff? My guys have been great about showing me things and having fun teaching a dinosaur a few tricks. A couple of months ago, I was proud of a new little skill I'd picked up and excited when I had a chance to use it one Saturday a.m. without bothering any of my crew. Of course, I screwed it up and had to call anyway to get it fixed, which earned me a fair share of grief. But I can do it now.

    I also teach in both jobs and that will help me as I teach my first class in the fall.

    I just filled my opening with the guy who was our intern last year. His family situation worked out that he could stay in the area. He has newspaper and radio experience, which helped him tremendously. I'll look for that in future hires. All four full-timers have newspaper experience. Radio experience will be key, too. We do some Web casts of sports that aren't on traditional radio and we are going to start including sound in our releases and Web recaps because the area TV and radio stations are losing people just like newspapers and can't get around to as many places as they did before.
  4. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Know someone who works in a department (Hi Moddy!) who knows you (Hi Moddy!) and says he thinks you have some talent (Hi Moddy!) and who would be willing to vouch for you (Hi Moddy!). Then just don't piss that person off (Hi Mod...oh hell, never mind)
  5. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Knowing people is a key in ANY profession. It is why networking is so important, no matter what you do. I was SE in the town where this school is located. The people there knew me. They knew what I could do and had confidence I could learn what I needed to learn.
    (that said, I didn't tell them about the Web site thing until after it got fixed!)
  6. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    And it has been at least 24 hours since you pissed me off.
  7. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Damn...that's close to a new record.

    *tiptoes away*
  8. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Streak over. I'm pissed. You edit better than that. New record? Yeesh.
  9. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    That's why I tiptoed away, dorkus.
  10. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Not fast enough, dorkette. Caught you anyway.
  11. budcrew08

    budcrew08 Active Member

    Nice threadjack, guys. Appreciate it. :D

    Seriously, Moddy, thank you 1 million times over.

    That's exactly the answers I was looking for... I definitely could get into a job like that... even at a D3 school.
  12. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    No problem. I tried to get the good stuff out of the way early before we got stoopid.
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