Inside Communications: What Do We Do?

On the third Monday of every month, a member of the Georgia State Sports Communications staff will give InsideGSUSports a look at what is going on in their department. Over the course of every month, each department will be featured at least once. Coming next Monday: Video.

If you’re a frequent reader of the InsideGSUSports blog, you already know that we are going to have each external department write a blog post every month. You’ve heard from marketing, the Panther Athletic Club and others in August, and now it’s our turn – communications.

What exactly is our goal in communications and what do we do? That second answer is ever-changing, but the first is solid as a rock: we are here to promote our student-athletes on and off the field. I personally believe if we’re not doing one of these three things, then we’re not doing our job correctly: promoting our student-athletes, coaches and staff; finding new ways to help our coaches in recruiting; and engaging our alumni and fans.

That’s a really basic way to look at communications – or sports information or media relations or whatever you want to call us. We do several jobs all rolled into one and answer to several ‘bosses’, but at the end of the day we need to make sure the media knows about our student-athletes, the recruits know about our teams and the alumni and fans know enough to be interested in coming to games.

Winning on the field and courts helps every part of that, but we have to be on the front line pushing out information each week no matter the outcome. The difference is that nowadays, we almost have to do it around the clock. The news cycle is gone. Everyone is mobile, everyone lives on the Internet and when they want things, it needs to be available or most of the time, they won’t come back to look for it. We do this for all 16 Panther sports that are ultimately competing for NCAA titles, but we also do it for all the departments in athletics. When marketing, or academics, or compliance, or the Panther Athletic Club needs something written for the website or a release for the media, it typically comes through our office. And we assist with ideas for video stories, email blasts to fans and publications, we can’t forget those.

Our role has changed in the last decade. We have always been the messenger of information, creating game notes before the contest, postgame recaps to let you know what happened, media guides before the season and releases year-round.

But now it’s more: Fans expect more, and we want to give more.

That comes in the form of content, which is greatly different than information. Content can be a feature story on a current athlete. Or a video of a coach being mic’d up at practice. Maybe a quick Q/A or a few paragraphs on a historical date that stands out in school history. There are a great number of types of content, and many forms of information. Many times these things go on our website (GeorgiaStateSports.com, if you didn’t know) and sometimes they go here on the blog. Other times, they go just as an advisory to the media.

So a question for you: What do you want to read on the website?

Are you more interested in the game notes and recaps?

Or do you want feature stories?

How about photo essays that tell a story?

Do you want short Q/As like this ‘Getting to Know’ series?

Are you only interested in video content?

Tell me what you – the fans, the alumni, the ones who read our work – are most interested in. Help us become more efficient by providing the information or content you want to find about Georgia State sports. Engaging you is one part of our goal as an office, and it’s important for us to handle each of the three areas diligently. Your input will helps us put the right resources toward building our audience.

Email me at jtrickie@gsu.edu or leave a message here in the comment section. Nothing is too off-the-wall. We don’t have the manpower to do it all, but if you have seen something – a specific type of feature, or a series on another sight – share it with me if you think it would be cool to read about on GSS.com.

–Jerry Trickie

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