The PR Playbook for Sports speakers knocked it out of the park! Students had the opportunity to learn from three public relations professionals in the sports industry at the September general meeting.
Cleveland Guardians Assistant Communications Director Austin Controulis preached the importance of professionalism and “having good feel.” He described this as knowing the situation you’re in and acting accordingly. “Someone is always watching you,” Controulis said. “Having good feel can carry you a long way in this industry.”
Each speaker gave their best advice on how to make it in the sports industry.
Kristyn Hibbett, Corporate Communications Coordinator at the Cleveland Cavaliers, started her full-time journey with the Cavaliers in March. She is a 2022 graduate of the PRKent program. Hibbett urged everyone in attendance to not be afraid to ask questions. She described her first big project and how she “winged” it. This led to some mistakes being made and a pushback on the release day.
“I’m kind of glad it happened that way,” Hibbett said. “It showed me how people on my team and in my department were really rooting for me.”
Tara Byrne, an Account Executive at Falls and Co., explained to attendees the importance of making connections. “The people on campus are a really good resource for you,” said Byrne. “They really want to help you.” Byrne worked in the Sports Information Department at her university. The department director connected her to someone on campus where she interned her senior year. This connection resulted in her receiving a letter of recommendation, which she credits to her hiring at Falls and Co.
At Falls and Co., Byrne works on an account for the Senior Players Championship golf tournament held at the Firestone Country Club in Akron. Falls and Co. is one of the only agencies that has the opportunity to work with the PGA tour.
The PR Playbook for Sports was a success with more than 50 students in attendance. Sophomore PR major Savannah Mallozzi was eager to hear from these PR professionals.
“It was awesome to meet people from big organizations who are so well-known,” Mallozzi said.
Junior PR major Jess Davis hopes to have a career in the sports industry one day. She listened intently to all of the advice given by the speakers.
“It was nice to hear them talk about experience and how much you need it,” Davis said. “I want to start filling up my resume.”
Before attendees headed home to catch the Browns vs. Steelers game, Hibbett shared some final advice.
“Always ask what you can do,” Hibbett said. “It really just goes a long way because it shows you want to be there, you want to learn and that they can trust you.”