Articles Tagged with “Public Relations”

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It was a pleasure spending some time on Election Day as the guest speaker for the Temple University Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Chatting with students about career experiences and the many changes I’ve seen in both the pro sports and legal professions over the years is 11.8.16always a lot of fun. The audience was attentive and certainly inquisitive.

The PRSSA is the leading pre-professional organization for students interested in public relations and communications. With over 300 chapters and 10,000 members nationwide, PRSSA offers members countless opportunities to succeed. The Temple Chapter of PRSSA is the longest standing chapter in the Philadelphia region, and currently consists of over 120 members.

In providing a rundown of my career, I discussed the good moves and bad ones, relayed some unprintable anecdotes (if you do not tolerate some profanity, you really cannot work in sports…perhaps even the legal industry), tips for internship and job searches, and the many, many changes in both the sports and law worlds over the years—and the related ways it has changed the PR and marketing functions. More than anything I focused on how important relationship-building has been to my life and career (I’m not talking about LinkedIn or Facebook, but those in-person, personal contacts). My “boss” as a Philadelphia Flyers PR intern in 1984—Mark Piazza—remains one of my dearest friends in 2016. And that was just one example of key relationships that went as far back as high school internship experiences with the minor league Baltimore Clippers and the MISL Baltimore Blast. Mark happened to be a Temple Owl as were other important folks I met along the way, people like Ed Waldman at The Baltimore Sun and Marc Zumoff with the Philadelphia Fever. Temple Owls are everywhere. The alumni network is a powerful thing.

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LPM_ND14_cover.jpgIn the November/December 2014 issue of the ABA’s Law Practice magazine, I write about Embracing the Changing Face of PR. In the column, I write about how much the concept of PR has changed with time and technology. While I still believe that PR is a significant part of business development, the way you utilize it and how it works has little resemblance to the way that it functioned a decade or two ago.

With print deadlines for Law Practice coming about four months prior to publication, it was summertime when I sat down to write this piece. What the column does not tell you is why I chose this particular issue to address PR. At that time, my first boss, Lou Corletto, had just passed away. I started my professional career as a PR professional, before law school, before a lot of things. In high school and undergrad, I had PR internships with the Baltimore Blast and Philadelphia Fever of the Major Indoor Soccer League (and at the league office). But my first formal PR training came via an internship with the Philadelphia Flyers. I learned a lot from the PR triumvirate of Rodger Gottlieb, Mark Piazza and Joe Kadlec. To this day, Mark and Joe are among my dearest personal friends. I “see” Rodger on LinkedIn from time to time, and while not in touch, have always appreciated what he did for me. They played a role in suggesting to the Washington Capitals that they hire me the following year. The Caps PR director was a long-time, old school, gentleman named Louis Corletto. For his memorial service, I sent along my thoughts and remembrances (ironically, an ABA meeting prevented me from attending in person). The memorial took place in Richmond, Virginia in August. I thought this would be an appropriate forum for sharing those words. Thanks Lou.

LOU CORLETTO MEMORIAL

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press_hat.jpgJoin me on February 13th in Washington, DC for a full-day tutorial on media and press relations, presented by the ABA Journal, in conjunction with the ABA Center for Professional Development.

I still recall my old friend Dan Leary telling me about a conversation they were having in the Major Indoor Soccer League office back in 1986. I was the PR Director of the New York Express and Sports Illustrated had sent top reporter Franz Lidz to spend the week shadowing the team. He was writing an SI piece about the importance of the New York franchise to soccer in the United States. Leary told me that in the league office they were trying to guess how high in the story I would be quoted. The answer was paragraph two. I might have been 23 years old, but I knew how to get myself quoted and interviewed–on TV, in the New York Times, Washington Post, SI and major dailies throughout the country.

In my pro sports days, I was known as a go-to guy by the media–for quotes, for off the record stuff, for ideas to fill a column or a TV interview. If you were a journalist, you knew that I’d call you back fast, tell you something you did not already know, and provide a colorful quote (even if I was giving an evasive answer). When I needed a favor–put this in the paper, don’t put this in the paper, quote this guy, do a feature on this player–I was paid back for being a reliable source. Some of the stuff I pulled was pretty clever. But even today, I would not write about it or give specific examples–I’m not sure the statute of limitations has run on everything. And many of those conversations and interactions were certainly off the record. But I was not a lawyer yet, so the Rules of Professional Conduct did not apply.