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What could teams, leagues, and media outlets do to make your jobs easier?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by eyeonsportsmedia, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. Hello all, it has been a while. I have an open-ended question for you as to what specific things teams, leagues, and media outlets do to make your jobs easier, specifically in terms of how the communicate/transmit information to you, and the format it takes.

    For example

    • When dealing with information such as team/league schedules, would you rather receive the information as a Word doc, a PDF file, a spreadsheet, other, or it does not matter?
    • Do they do a good of communicating when and where you can find information?
    • Would you rather be notified of information via RRS so you can go and download it if you want it, or would you rather receive it via email? If by email, do your organizations have IT security policies in place blocking certain types of file attachments?

    etc, etc

    The context of this question is if there are things these organizations can do to make your job, and the jobs of your co-workers, easier and more efficient in these times of downsizing and salary reductions?

    I would like to include this type of information in a series of "best practices" articles on how the organizations share, communicate, and distribute their data. The first in the series, Sports Media Best Practices: Resize Images Before Using in Press Releases, was posted this morning. (and no, this is not a ploy to get traffic, you can ignore the link and focus on this topic if you wish).

    Thanks in advance to anybody who wishes to partake in this discussion.
  2. Babs

    Babs Member

    I'll bite, but my biggest complaint isn't about the information you're talking about. It's the logistical info.

    I've covered a lot of different leagues at many different levels, but the one thing that is unfortunately true all over is that no one give you any kind of helpful logistical information like: what door to enter, where the media notes can be picked up, time and place of media meal, photo spots, map of arena, location of your seat, how to get to the locker rooms, post-game logistics, wi-fi info, stuff like this. It doesn't seem like it would be that hard to put together and then give it to anyone who is a first timer. Instead, media relations just says "OK" to the credential and then you fend for yourself. There's a ton that could go wrong there, and has.

    I could have produced much better stuff if I wasn't spending so much time figuring out HOW I was going to do things instead of just doing them.
  3. spud

    spud Member

    This is the unfortunate truth. I can't remember how many times I've had to mine information from janitors, other media members or just whoever's around to find out where I'm going. I've been credentialed at a number of big events and it seems like its just assumed that you know where you're going. If not, figure it out. I can, but I figure as a media relations person it'd be pretty easy to cobble together some kind of .pdf to send out pregame to let you know what the deal is. Especially as a member of visiting media, the last thing I want to worry about is where to park on game day.
  4. Good stuff...thanks!
  5. TheMethod

    TheMethod Member

    Parking is, without question, my biggest complaint about covering road games. It's quite common to find that I have no idea how to get where I'm supposed to park, and nobody working at any of the lots ever has any idea where media parking is. It's terribly frustrating.

    And this is just a minor thing, but I don't need PR staff dropping off reams of paper over my shoulder at every timeout. I don't know anybody who really gets much value out of getting the first quarter box and play by play, especially if it's a day game. The likelihood of me using any of that information is small to begin with, and if it's going to be included in the postgame book, I never, ever need it after the quarter.

    The only one I ever need is the halftime box and the postgame box. The rest is just litter.
  6. Gomer

    Gomer Active Member

    As far as file types go, always send PDF or HTML. Don't try to send .doc, .docx or any other format which isn't universal. It inevitably causes problems.

    RSS (not RRS) feeds can be useful, but you're better off using email. It's more ubiquitous.

    Some papers have firewalls which will deny your email. Handle those on a case-by-case basis. You can always have your address put on a safe list if your stuff's not coming through normally.
  7. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    I'm OK with the reams of paper, but if you're going to drop it off, I want all of it. Don't skip my seat because I'm not in it for whatever reason. When I come back I don't want to think I'd missed something.
  8. Babs

    Babs Member

    Another pet peeve that just happened as I was doing some research. This is more about the team website than handouts though:

    There better be a link to a profile of every player your organization owns, down to the scrubbiest scrub. Do not have links just to your active roster, with everyone else lost in the ether. You own them, you link to them somehow. Makes it really hard to write accurately if I cannot verify who the team owns.

    It seems like the more storied the team is, the more they pretend that they don't have prospects. The players just magically appear, fully formed, on the team.
  9. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    Yeah, but cut out that PA SportsTicker garbage. If there's a game I care about, or a game that's relevant to the game I'm covering, there's a strong chance I can get a more updated score on the computer I have courtside.

    Also, if you're going to list "Individual Game Highs," "Individual Season Highs," "Individual Career Highs," "Opponent Game Highs," so on and so forth, how about including the lows as well? Just for once, it might be helpful to have the grid spell out just how ineffective your team's running game was, as much as you don't want to see it.

    I could go on and on about this topic. I just might come back. Fighting for media access and expediting our jobs is a favorite sticking point of mine.
  10. TheMethod

    TheMethod Member

    Open the locker rooms.

    The professional sports do it, the NCAA Tournament does it, and it works out pretty well. It's less time consuming for everybody involved.

    I understand there are concerns about the state of undress of players, and those concerns are legitimate, but that never seems to be a problem at the NCAA Tournament.

    In addition to being less time consuming, and easier, open locker rooms are more likely to produce off-beat story ideas. Without them, there's no way anybody is going to write about the third-string point guard, but if you're just chatting with him in the locker room, you might come up with a cool story idea.
  11. HandsomeHarley

    HandsomeHarley Well-Known Member

    High schools could stop caving in to every god damned radio station that decides to pay a visit, kicking out the local sportswriters to fare in the elements.

    I've never seen a parent cut out a radio interview and paste it in a scrapbook. Yet, they're all treated like gods, welcomed with open arms, stocked up with anything they want to eat or drink. Meanwhile, newspaper reporters -- oftentimes, even the HOME FUCKIN' REPORTER -- are left to fend for themselves.

  12. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    They could start the games earlier.

    It's tough to write much of a story when the game ends less than an hour before deadline.

    This goes for EVERYBODY: from youth leagues all the way to the World Series.
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