how roller derby helped me fall back in love with PR.

In some form or another, I’ve worked in public relations most of my adult life. While I love my ever-evolving day job, there’s a chance some things can feel a bit stale after a while. But I have to admit that doing publicity for Oz Roller Girls has reminded me what I enjoy about public relations.

My day job is for a college that’s also the largest employer in the county, so what we do is news whether we want it to be or not. And sometimes decisions involve what not to write about under the If We Cover That Bake Sale, We Have To Cover All Bake Sales theory.

But with the Oz Roller Girls, it’s like a budding relationship where everything is fresh and new. We’re starting, essentially, from square one, so seeing Oz news releases and photos in the media is exciting again, and watching folks on the team post Facebook links to our coverage gives a sense of accomplishment, of being part of a group that deeply appreciates it.

Since we recently launched the @OzRollerGirls Twitter account, I find myself going back to basics. My regular Twitter account having 1,300+ followers and the college account having 900+ followers has spoiled me. With the derby account, I have to remember how to build an audience again through interesting content and engagement.

It’s also refreshing to write about a new subject and be able to start a campaign from scratch. If I have an idea for a good story, I can just dive into it. The Media Committee also has awesome volunteers ready to help at any time. The whole team is so cooperative and supportive when I need something from them, and the enthusiasm for the sport is contagious and fulfilling.

The Oz Roller Girls are still an underdog in the media game. We’re a novelty act to some, hard to categorize to others, unproven to others still. But as we build toward our home debut on April 23, you can feel a kind of momentum from dozens of skaters and volunteers all believing in something and working together. When they see publicity come through, it’s just further encouragement. And being a part of all that, of seeing everything come together and enjoying every little success, makes me fall in love with public relations all over again.

Postscript: My advice: If you ever feel a little stagnated, finding a volunteer outlet can prove refreshing. You don’t have to get as far in as I have, but just meeting new people and gaining new perspective can really be a boost.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “how roller derby helped me fall back in love with PR.

  1. Ron

    Good stuff, Tim. Good luck on your first bout, too.

  2. Sista Boom Boom

    Hey, I’m head of public relations from a league called the Cajun Rollergirls in Houma, LA. I was Googling ideas for our first home bout of the 2011 season and your blog came up as one of the top searches. After reading your story, I feel a lot better because it can be an overwhelming position, and I understand your how much effort it takes to get the public engaged in derby. But I hope all went well for your first bout, and thank you for posting this!! This was really helpful, and encouraged me to be extra committed to spreading the derby gospel!

    -Sista Boom Boom
    Cajun Rollergirls

  3. Tim Nekritz

    Thinks for the note, Sista! I know exactly how that felt. It indeed quite an effort, but well worth it. And, in my experience anyway, the folks in roller derby are more than eager to help in publicity efforts.

    Our first bout was very successful. Packed house, a win and pretty much a good time all around. Blogged about it:

    http://professorplutonium.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/plan-everything-expect-anything/

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