Image Credit: Sycamore Athletics
Hey bloggers this week was very eventful. A lot of things happened including my interview with PR professional Blaine Kinsey. Blaine is the Director of New Media at Indiana State University. I met Blaine this summer while working as an intern with our athletic department. Since the summer I was asked to be the athletic department’s intern for the entire year. I now work with Blaine personally on different projects for our athletic team’s so it was really easy sitting down and asking him questions about his job in PR. Blaine attended ISU and was a communications major undergraduate with a focus in electronic media and journalism. He also got his masters in sport management. I got to sit down with Blaine and ask him questions about what it’s like to be in his shoes.
Blaine Kinsey began to describe what a typical week is like. He explained that each week is a little different for him based on what sports are in season and if he has a sport that is in season. “For instance, my primary sport is softball and because they are just in their fall season, most of my weeks are open to do other things. I started the first two days of the week off with nearly nonstop meetings about various things from promotions for our next football game, to media relations meetings, to meetings with the university communication and marketing department. I also wrote a feature story on one of our student athletes with an extremely rare disease to send out and try and get picked up by ESPN. Finally, on Friday I got all of my stats materials ready for the weekend as I left with the softball team to travel to Chicago for games on Saturday and home games on Sunday.” So it’s safe to say that there is never a dull moment at Blaine’s job.
Next Blaine and I talked about a project that he was particularly proud of. He mentioned the feature story that he was writing about one of our student athletes and his facial expressions explained why he was so proud. According to Blaine the student athlete didn’t want anyone to find out about it but Blaine was able to convince her that it will not only be good exposure for her but also her team and the university. “I am currently in contact with numerous folks at ESPN about them picking up the story and doing a feature on her.” He seemed very excited about this project and I hope it all works out for him.
Blaine and I then moved on and talked a little bit more about the PR industry. I asked him what he did to keep up with it and what he wished he would have known before starting his career in PR. Blaine said “One way that I try and stay current in the PR industry is by scrolling through the COSIDA (college sports information directors of America) website on a weekly basis. They link multiple stories each week with PR professionals on ways to better improve and stay current in the industry. They also provide interesting ideas to try in the future.”
He also explained to me that when he first started his career in PR he didn’t fully understand how many different communication aspects were tied into it. Blaine expressed to me that it is important to be well versed and have a variety of different skills or the ability to learn new skills.
In conclusion of the interview I had just a couple more questions to ask Blaine. I knew that one of Blaine’s focuses in school was journalism and the question about how important writing is in your career would hit home for him. He exclaimed “Writing is extremely important! I write articles nearly on a daily basis and when my sports are in season it is usually multiple articles a day. When you are in the PR industry, everyone is looking at the articles that you put out so in order to stay credible, you must make sure that everything is spelled correctly and makes sense.” I liked that I not only heard this from him but also from Mullen, my PR teacher. If I didn’t know it before, I know it now that good grammar in writing is a must!
Lastly, Blaine gave me some good tips for myself and anyone else just starting out in PR.
- Be ready for extended hours and short weekends especially when it comes to sports PR.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions or learn from other people.
- Make as many connections as possible.
I had a great time sitting down with Blaine. I thank him very much for all the insight he gave me and hope you all enjoy the interview just as much as I did. If you are interested in connecting with Blaine here is a link to his LinkedIn page!