Job Shadowing: JMU vs George Mason Women’s Soccer
On October 4, 2012 I shadowed Ms. Milla Sue Wisecarver, the Assistant Director of Athletics Communication. She handles the PR for the Men’s and Women’s soccer as well as Women’s Lacrosse and Basketball. I arrived at University Park an hour before the game and observed the preparation for the game. Mostly Milla Sue and her staff did a lot of set up and work on the computer. Information and the starting lineups are gathered for both team and are distributed to the announcer, any news media that has arrived (none arrived at my game!) and the visiting teams PR representative. Then the people officiating the game’s names are distributed to the same people as well as MADIZone. Finally, live stats, tweets and the post-game email drafts are set up.
During the game is actually (in my opinion) the “down time”. During the game Milla Sue and her staff keep the stats as well as announce the game. Tweets on Twitter are constantly updated and a halftime report is sent out via Twitter. Also, Milla Sue keeps detailed noted throughout the game for the post-game story to be released later that night. In class we discussed how while in the Press Box during any sports events there is complete silence. I thought maybe this was an exaggeration or something but no, it was not. The entire game everyone was silent except the PA announcer and Milla Sue every so often asking the stats keeper if she had the right stats in her notes. The whole experience was fascinating as well as uncomfortable. I am a talkative person so having to stay in complete silence during the whole 4 hours of the game was a little unnerving.
After the game, stats had to be signed off and “OK’ed” by the officials and Milla Sue took quotes from some of the players and the coaches. A video interview was also conducted with the coach in order to post on MADIZone. Finally, all the stats are posted to the appropriate websites (JMUsports.com and NCAA) and then given to the opposing team’s representatives. All appropriate news and stats are given to any media representatives that showed up (none in my case) and all the equipment is torn down and put away for the night.
This entire experience was very eye opening. All throughout high school I always played the sports and so I never really knew what happened “behind the scenes”. Getting a chance to participate in this part though was very eye opening. I never knew about all the small things that the PR person has to do. Like, I had previously assumed all the set up of equipment and everything was handled by someone other than a PR person. People in PR truly have a lot of responsibilities and some not-as-glamorous duties to attend to.