TALL TASK: LEVERAGING THE MEDIA FOR ECU (Part 2
Part 2: Inside Athletics Media Services
A Small Crew Doing Big Things for ECU —
Saturday, December 31, 2005
By Ron Cherubini
in the Life of the Athletics Media Relations Department
INSIDE ATHLETICS MEDIA
With a Relatively Small Budget and Limited Resources,
Department Elevates Output ...
Part 2: A Week in
the Life of the Athletics Media Relations Department ...
Relatively Small Budget and Limited Resources, Department
East Carolina fans and
alumni are no strangers to hearing about the mountainous
obstacles standing between the athletics program of today
and the potential collegiate sports Promised Land. Everyone
sees Athletics Director Terry Holland out on the stump and
ECU coaches in the limelight. But there's more below the
surface than meets they eye. ...
So, it’s a crispy fall Saturday and you are
with your friends and family in Greenville ready for another East Carolina
University football game. For you, the weekend is just getting going.
For the ECU Athletics Media Relations
staff, it has been a six-day production in the works.
Tom McClellan recounts 'a week in the life' of ECU's
athletics media relations department.
Director of Athletics Media Relations, was kind enough to document a typical
week in the life during football season:
staff has been hard at work, putting together about 90% of the weekly game
notes packages. Additionally, the office releases the updated Top 25 poll to
all media outlets in the coverage area.
staff has finalized the game notes packages and publishes them to the
website. In addition, the staff mails out the paper version to all media
outlets who have requested them in paper form. Then, an e-mail campaign is
completed, sending out the PDF files to media outlets nationally.
office also is ensuring that catering has arrived for Coach Skip Holtz’
weekly press conference and luncheon. As part of this weekly event, the
staff has confirmed player attendance for the press conference;
physically set up press conference particulars (podium, backdrop, audio
tools); welcome media to press conference. The office then introduces Coach
Holtz to kick off the luncheon.
Meanwhile, the staff is arranging one-on-one interviews with Coach Holtz and
players after conference, ensuring Coach Holtz is on the weekly Conference
USA Coaches’ Teleconference at 2:05 p.m.
home games, the staff would also send institutional credentials and parking
passes to opponent via overnight delivery service. Further, if it is a
television game, the staff sends information packets and newspaper clippings
to announcers and production crews via overnight delivery for their prep
work and they schedule a briefing session with TV talent for later in the
week and discuss arrival time; cover practice and handle post-practice
interviews; compile practice report for dissemination.
it’s home week, the staff spends part of Tuesday beginning development work
on meida flip cards. They also are sending out credential and parking pass
request (institutional and local media) to opponent for following road game
(allowing a 12-day turnaround), if applicable; cover practice and handle
post-practice interviews (this day presents traditionally heavy TV
coverage); compile practice report for dissemination.
Midweek, the staff completes the flip card information. If travel
arrangements allow, the staff arranges with visiting SID to pick up weekly
game notes at the stadium for press box package; get travel/dress list for
upcoming game; cover practice and handle post-practice interviews (another
day of traditionally heavy TV coverage); compile practice report for
day is approaching, so on Thursdays, the staff updates injury information
from the sports medicine department and completes duplication of all
materials for pressbox packet (game notes, flipcards, etc…); start preparing
for pressbox operation (gathering office supplies, duplicated notes and
flipcards, backup stat forms, participation charts, etc…); secure opponent
computer roster file to import into statistical laptop.
Additionally, the staff has also already started thinking about the next
game, preparing for Sunday’s operation (finalize call-in times with opponent
SID and advance work for the next weekly game notes package; arrange details
of exchanging stats Saturday night); finalize travel/dress list for upcoming
game; confirm catering arrangements (if home game) for pressbox; cover
practice and handle post-practice interviews; compile practice report for
24 hours out, staff is working on completion of all work for pressbox
informational packet, collating, etc.; finalizing seating chart and
placards; handling pre-game interviews and/or production meetings for any
announcer crews for Saturday’s game, if applicable; preparing and printing
media roster, seating chart and seat placards; Delivering last-minute
credential requests to will-call window; setting up pressbox (phones, stat
monitors, tape down seating placards, check copier, load Pepsi cooler,
Game Day and after a week of preparation, the staff is actually kicking it
up into a higher gear, arriving at work at least five hours before kickoff.
Once inside stadium, the staff is welcoming media and showing the visiting SID
the facility; reviewing post-game interview plans; double-checking flipcard/starters with Coach Holtz or coordinators during player warm-up
game, while they certainly are enjoying the Pirates play, they are hard at
work printing statistics, quote sheets and game notes for dissemination;
posting story and stats on website as soon as humanly possible; coordinating
post-game interviews with Coach Holtz and requested players in the Ward
Building; escorting Coach Holtz to taping of weekly television show;
cleaning up the pressbox and media services (wait until the last reporter
leaves the pressbox).
back in the office, the staff begins preliminary work on Sunday’s game note
package; cleaning up the office and filing away all appropriate equipment
and information; receiving next week’s opponent game and cumulative stats
and updating depth chart after the completion of their game (reciprocate
with similar ECU information); making copies and delivering to each coach’s
office for use early Sunday morning when they arrive.
there it is, in a nutshell the week in the life of a staff that all the
while is responding to media requests for photos, stats, interviews with
players from every hometown on the roster, not only for football but from every
Anyone who has been in the pressbox on game day is amazed at how well these
people are able to turnaround well-typed, detailed play-by-play, statistics,
notes… almost instantly. Imagine… journalists not even having to keep their
For a small staff… they
are getting it done, in the true tradition of East Carolina.
Send an e-mail message to Ron Cherubini.
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02/23/2007 02:06:19 PM