Accountable for the connections between an athletic organization and the media, a media relations specialist acts as a liaison between the two parties. He or she ensures that the media is well-informed about the organization. Media relations specialists monitor their organization’s presence on the internet and social media, as well as in local news outlets.
A sports media relations specialist aims to create and maintain positive relationships between the organization and media outlets, such as newspapers and broadcasters. He or she may communicate with the media via news conferences, email, phone or in-person conversations. A media relations specialist is expected to have an excellent understanding of the sports and mass media industries.
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Communication is an important skill for this career, as the media relations specialist will write press releases and speak publicly to keep the media informed. He or she may need to recruit third-party endorsements to relay messages or to brand the organization in hopes of achieving a larger audience. They oversee their organization’s presence on the internet and social media. Additionally, sports media relations specialists typically work full time during regular business hours. However, overtime and long workdays are common, especially during athletic seasons.
Media Relations Specialist Salary
Not specific to the sports industry, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median salary for public relations specialists was $58,020 in 2016. The BLS predicts that employment will grow 9 percent through 2026, or about as fast as the national average for all occupations. This is attributable to the essential role of media relations for all organizations in the modern age of digital and social media.
Many media relations specialists in sports have a background in sports management, journalism, English, marketing, public relations or communications. For an entry-level position in the field, a bachelor’s degree is required. However, those who want to go specifically into sports media relations should have a master’s in sport management. Many students also complete an internship with a media outlet or sports organization.
Campbellsville University’s online master’s in sport management provides students insight on the business side of the sports industry. Students can choose an emphasis in marketing or administration. They will learn the skills industry professionals use on a daily business from faculty members who have experience in sport management and business. The fully online program gives students the opportunity to study wherever and whenever they wish.