By Meghan McDonald
The session “Get Your Head in the Game” focused on sports PR and was presented by Andrea Farmer, Associate Director of Strategic Initiatives at NCAA. She began her presentation with what the NCAA thinks is the most important goal, to make sure everything you do as an organization leads back to your vision, mission and principles. I believe that this is part of what makes the NCAA such a successful organization, being focused on the college athletes themselves.
She continued the presentation with breaking down the different communications departments within the company and what each department is responsible for. Despite there being different departments, all of the decisions taken throughout the company are data driven. Media/web analytics, public perception surveys, focus groups and relationship surveys are all used in decision making. All strategies are based off of this data. So be sure to pay attention during your research classes because an ability to read and interpret data is incredibly useful!
One of the main concerns of the NCAA is public perception. Due to the fact that it is such a large, widely-known organization, there are many misconceptions about the company. The main concept that the NCAA wants people to recognize is that 90% of their revenue comes from the television rights from March Madness. Then, the 90% of their revenue goes back out to conferences to fund their sports programs, especially for the less popular or less televised college sports that wouldn’t have as much funding.
Overall, I really enjoyed the presentation and I learned so much about sports PR and the NCAA as an organization. I now understand how large of a role research plays in the process of creating strategies and tactics. Nothing can even be started until the research has been taken and interpreted. Andrea Farmer was a great presenter and a wonderful spokesperson for NCAA.
Meghan McDonald is a junior public relations major and is PRSSA Kent's secretary. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.