By: Adam White, @FOSAdam
Amongst her crazy schedule and overflowing calendar, we were able to catch back up with former FOS interviewee Natalie Mikolich, who this year, was selected as the 2016 Chair of PRSA’s Entertainment & Sports Section. In between lots of laughs and smiles, she was able to give us a look into the year ahead for PRSA, why she thinks these types of organizations are so valuable and some of her favorite memories of her involvement thus far.
How has PRSA changed your career?
"Being a member of PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) the past year-and-a-half and serving on their Entertainment and Sports Section Executive Committee has changed my career because it is not only allowing me to connect and grow my network with many others in the sports and entertainment public relations industries I might not have had the opportunity to meet otherwise, but it has afforded me the opportunity to help make a difference in our profession by uniting professionals and creating programming and content that will benefit those who work in sports PR and are looking to improve their practices or learn about the latest industry trends."
"In addition to my daily work in sports PR, I am extremely passionate about elevating the importance of our role in PR in the sports business industry and helping aspiring sports business and other PR professionals in any way that I can. Having an active role with PRSA could not be a better fit for me to be able to do this with such a strong platform and organization like PRSA supporting our efforts by the Executive Committee."
What has been the best part of your involvement in PRSA up to this point? What is your favorite memory?
"I think the best part of my involvement so far has been creating new programming for our members and other industry professionals that is specific to sports PR and is of benefit to PR pros amongst others. The feedback I have received from members of our PRSA Entertainment and Sports Section and others in the industry has been very positive and extremely rewarding to know that they have found some of the new programming I put together informative and helpful. It has also been extremely exciting to also be able to contribute articles to PRSA’s “ComPRehension” site and other sections that not only PR pros are reading, but also sports management and PR professors who have come across my articles and shared them in their class lectures . I never imagined this would be something that would come from my article write-ups including those on my blog site SportsPublicitySpin.com."
"As for my favorite memory so far, since we have not done any in-person events for our Section this year, I would say that hosting our first #ESPRSAChat at the end of October was a lot of fun and tremendous to see the response from our elite caliber of participants who contributed to the conversation. That, and to see the direct growth it resulted in was very inspiring and motivating to want to continue planning future twitter chats that others will benefit from."
Looking towards 2016, what will your role be for the PRSA Entertainment and Sports Section?
"Heading into next year, I am humbled, grateful and honored to have been nominated to serve as the Chair of the PRSA Entertainment and Sports Section. Especially with next year being a big Olympic year and an even more special year in sports, it is an incredible opportunity to make the most of it for myself and others."
"With my position as Chair of the PRSA Entertainment and Sports Section, I will have additional responsibilities for our Section including overseeing all of our programming in 2016 from podcasts, twitter chats and newsletters to webinars and in person networking events. Along with this, I will work with our Executive Committee to grow our group of Entertainment and Sports Section members and plan a panel session for the annual PRSA International Conference in the Fall of 2016. One of my larger goals for our Section next year is to hold our own mini summit at the end of 2016 that will discuss emerging trends, best practices and best campaigns that occurred throughout 2016 and unite industry professionals with a networking environment that allows them to meet and connect with those who work specifically in our areas of sports and entertainment PR."
What is planned for 2016 and how can others be involved?
"For 2016, we are busy planning some exciting programming surrounding the “Master Calendar” of events lined-up for next year in both the sports and entertainment industries and we will begin making announcements soon for things scheduled in early 2016 (stay tuned to us on Twitter @PRSAEntSports)."
"In order to offer valuable programming that many PR and other industry pros could get excited about and want to participate in, starting in 2016 we are looking to not only provide Section members with exclusive access to hear and learn from some of the best professionals in our industry, but also the ability to establish new relationships and connections with them."
"Some of these activities planned for 2016 include more twitter chats, podcasts and webinars along with possible networking events and beginning to plan panel sessions. For these activities being planned, some will be accessible to everyone however some of these will only be available for our members in order to provide them with exclusive access to the top industry pros. For all of these activities though, if anyone has something they want to be involved with, an idea they want to share or a panel session they would like to contribute to, we welcome all suggestions by reaching out to us on our social media channels."
Often times in #sportsbiz, we are told to “be a sponge” or “never stop learning.” How do organizations like PRSA allow students and professionals to do this? Why are they such a key component to career development?
"With how quickly the sports industry is moving these days and how fast everything is happening (largely due to the emergence and exceptional growth of social media these last few years), no matter what stage you are at in your career I believe everyone has the ability to be a sponge and continue learning with each week that passes."
"Organizations like PRSA are extremely beneficial for students and young professionals looking to enhance their career development and skills because with PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) university chapters setup throughout the U.S., it offers students a group of peers and leaders to be involved with in order to get on the fast track to learning about what it is like working in PR, hear from established industry professionals and find out what they can expect from the profession and be better prepared for their future careers. It also offers students involved with PRSSA the ability to be connected to the larger network of PRSA professionals where they can locate internship opportunities and potential jobs and join groups like PRSA New Pros once they have graduated so they can continue to have a support network to continue their career development in the early stages of their careers."