Thursday, July 23, 2009

Long Promised Hessert Notes

An opening disclaimer: I've been a follower of Kathleen Hessert's sports PR work for years. Roughly since she shook up the CoSIDA convention back in St. Louis, gosh, 1999?, I've wanted to see her come to campus to work with our athletes. I claim no input on that -- Jeff Long knew of her as well and scheduled her in.

First and foremost, anyone who TwitPic's her own presentation to athletes clearly has a tight grasp on the power of immediate social media. And by the time she left Fayetteville, she probably picked up 40 or 50 local followers for her Twitter feed. Smart move.

A lot of the media training for the student-athletes echoed past things I've done with the old department's training; plenty of stuff you'd read here back in the 2005 and 2006 posts -- plus the freshman media session many of the readers have received copies of in the past.

Couple of her numbers that should catch attention:
Quick to call out the top bloggers -- Deadspin at 450K in uniques would rank among the top newspaper circulations in the country; that Every Day Should Be Saturday should be everyone in college football's must read because it's the No. 1 football. (I point EDSBS out because of the "shock and awe" that ensued when I built a blogger panel at convention around its founder -- good to get some validation).
Noted that advertisers were now willing to offer to pay for Tweets -- when you think about it, not terribly different from old style "readers" done by Paul Harvey or Jack Buck. Everything old is becoming new again. One major feed offered $30k for a single product Tweet.

Topically, some things that would help anyone:
--Think of three words or phrases that define you, and then spend your time getting that message across.
--Balance is important to the brand and image
--In a crisis, better to get it out and get it over with -- I love this visual to "go for the fast hemmorage rather than the slow drip"
--Harder questions come when the media thinks you're lying, and they probably think your lying and ask hard questions because they know something you don't want them to know.

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