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Media Training

We’re On Your Side: Inside USA Shooting’s Media and Public Relations Department

the one you want told. Con- fi de in us without fear of a headline. The more context we have and the more we know, the better we can for- mulate the story that is right for both you and USA Shoot- ing. Knowledge is power. Our role as storyteller

“You’re the people that

do the photos.” That’s just one of the common labels we get within the USA Shoot- ing Media and Public Rela- tions department. By ex- plaining a little about what we do, we’re hopeful the “photo guy” and “photo girl” label disappears and a bet- ter understanding develops about how we operate and whose team we’re on. Same to, this notion that

we’re the “media,” while being said with all the dis- dain and distrust you’d give a crooked politician. Let’s start here: Trust and belief are paramount to the job we do. Building the trust of our staff, athletes and coaches is an important job and one of the fi rst building blocks of any successful public rela- tions professional. You have to have trust in the people telling your story and helping build your brand. You have to believe they are going to tell the story the right way, and work as an ally in your corner. We understand trust is earned over time.

Too often, however, the

idea of trust is lost given the lack of understanding for what the role is. Sadly, there’s this misconception that all media is bad and thus being linked to them leads to preconceived as- sumptions about what might happen should you trust us. Let’s set the record straight that we, your Pub- lic Relations Team of USA Shooting (Kevin Neuendorf, pictured above and Jessica Delos Reyes, pictured below with Connor Davis), is on YOUR side. Just as you en- trust Sean McCann (Sports Psych) with the ramblings in your mind or Cathy Arnot’s magical healing powers, we’re also here to better the athlete and sport through the power of words, imag- ery, context and information. Doing so requires faith, just as you trust McCann with your mind and Arnot with your body. If there’s a prob- lem, tell us without fear of it being leaked. We’re story- tellers but it does us no good if the story we’re telling isn’t

70 USA Shooting News | Year in Review 2014

is to create greater under- standing and appreciation for both sport and athletes. Specifi cally, we get the job you don’t want, which is talking about yourself. To do so requires knowledge, understanding, perspec- tive and involvement. Get- ting to know you as athletes and investing time in the sport is the only way that is achieved. Working against us are things like not being allowed to be a part of the conversation for fear of the “media” factor; asking you for a quote/comment and getting nothing or little in re- turn; and not doing your part to tell your story. This leaves a void relative to gaining bet- ter understanding of how to craft our story. Help us, help you.

The portrayal of the

shooting sports, and spe- cifi cally our style of it, along with the glorifi cation of in- dividual athlete success is dependent upon a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities each of us plays in shaping our brand. As authors of social media sites including Face- book, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter, this magazine, USA Shooting News, press releases, and our main infor- mation portal of usashoot-, we’re charged with strengthening both percep- tion and profi le of the sport and athletes, coaches and members it’s comprised of. We do that through proper prose, imagery and context. To assist us in this process, we ask that all involved with USA Shooting foster a better understanding of the role we play, confi de in us the abil- ity to tell a story in the right manner and recognize the public relations role each of have in making our sport better.

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