Sports publicists work in one of three areas. Some work for public relations firms that handle athletes or sports-oriented events. Others work directly for sports teams in their front offices. Some are self-employed, working directly with clients.
The best way to enter public relations at the professional sports level is by gaining experience at the collegiate ranks. There are many internships available at this level, and getting one is the best way to get a foot in the door. Interns may be asked to contribute to publications and to write and prepare press releases or even help contribute to social media posts. This is a great opportunity not only to learn how to generate all of this material, but also to begin collecting writing samples and clips, which prospective employers will want to see as proof of journalistic and PR writing skills.
There are also training programs within established public relations companies.
Sports publicists advance by moving from employment at minor-league teams to opportunities with higher-level teams, culminating with a position with a major-league team. Some publicists develop a multifacted skill set that allows them to become assistant general manager or general manager, or get promoted to marketing manager or executive. A publicist at the college-level might advance by moving from working at a small, private school to a flagship state university. Some publicists open their own public relations firms. Others leave the field to teach public relations at colleges and universities.
Tips for Entry
Read industry-related publications that are published and available through associations such as the Public Relations Society of America. Also check out Sports Business Journal (https://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal.aspx) to learn more about the sports industry.
Visit the career center of the Public Relations Society of America Web site, https://www.prsa.org/career/career-resources, to learn more about public relations careers.
For job listings, visit:
Look on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and other social media sites for sports publicists and public relations agencies with sports clients and follow them to learn more about their work and insights into the field.