Monday, August 15, 2011

The Be Attitudes

Ah, yes, it's the dog days of summer and the last chance for good, ripe punage before the fall semesters begin. Perhaps it is time to revisit one of my essays from the once-and-future Women's Communications Office handbook that went by the title, The Be Attitudes. Not so subliminally subtitled: how to act for GAs, students and interns.

Webster’s defines a beatitude as “a state of utmost bliss” or specifically “the declarations made in the Sermon on the Mount beginning with the statement ‘blessed are’.” Consider these as the ways to utmost perfection in sports information because certainly bless with jobs and accolades are those who follow these guidelines.

All it takes for rust to start on the finest metal is just a single scratch in the paint. From that opening, rust works to expand by pushing back the paint.
The media or fan base might look like real thick paint, but the persistent SID can and will find that opening. Once you get it, exploit it. Along these lines, rust doesn’t take over the car overnight. It takes a long time and sometimes you must remain focused on a long-term goal of improved coverage or attendance.

Sharks never sleep. They’re constantly on the hunt. And they are always ready to strike. Being the shark requires two skills. First is a constant vigilance and a recognition that you are on call at any hour. Sports information isn’t a job that ends at 5 p.m. Events happen during the evenings. Often the crisis occurs late at night.

This country need more lerts. Being a lert means planning ahead for both success and failure. You should have a written crisis plan established within your department for any multitude of events. Ranging from NCAA investigation to arrests to travel accidents to the death of a player or coach, the only way to maintain some semblance of control on any situation is to have an outline of who to call and what will be said.

At the same time, you should be ready to handle the onslaught of playoff events, all-America campaigns, televised events and championships. The time to plan for a homecoming celebration isn’t after the big game is won. It is weeks, if not months prior. Your team might not even have a winning record right now, but what if they become the Miracle Mets? Plan ahead with outlines of how to handle the added demands winning provides.

If you blew it, admit it. Learn from the mistake and avoid making it again. Learn more from the political masters -- Paul Begala and James Carville -- in Buck Up, Suck Up and Come Back when you Foul Up.

More tomorrow . . .

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