USA Gymnastics: Week 1

IMG_3588With no two days exactly the same, it’s been a hectic first week to say the least. Life on the other side of the field, as I like to call it, is different. The verdict is still out on whether or not I’m a fan of media relations, but that’s the point of this summer. I do have to say I miss the journalism side of things. Sure, I’ll be doing a feature here and there, but my life is now being consumed by press releases, media outreaches and media advisories. I’m promoting a sport now rather than covering it, and that’s definitely new for me. It’s difficult to turn my “unbiased training” off and allow a little bit of promotion and fandom start to leak in.

Anyway, down to what all I’ve been doing. To tell you the truth, so far it’s been a little bit of everything. I wrote an obituary for my first assignment on the job. I rewrote someone else’s press release about Olympic champion Gabby Douglas getting a wax figure made of herself. I covered a trampoline and tumbling event remotely and filed press releases about the competition even though I was on the other side of the country. Plus, I did all of that stereotypical intern stuff such as scan hundreds of old film slides, proof releases and stories and transcribe off of a video.

Non-writing related, I did my first media outreach where I basically acted as the equivalent of an SID and set up an interview with a journalist and an athlete. This coming week I’ll also be writing a media advisory for a “celebrity” site visit event in Louisville as well as writing the skeletons for press releases for the rhythmic gymnastics national qualifier next weekend so that they are ready to finalize and send out to the media as soon as the results are in after the competition.

So far, I wouldn’t call the work fun. However, it’s not uninteresting either. The main different
between what I know about journalism jobs and media relation IMG_3577gigs is that so far my environment has been a plain grey cubicle for eight hours each day. I did get to go out on a bit of a field trip with the USA Track & Field interns to see the Indy Eleven office, which is the city’s North American Soccer League team. Since the team’s only been around for less than a year, it was cool to hear about how the program was built from the group up and how the people there are continuing to promote the team.

On a non-work related note, Indianapolis is truely a sports city. My room is literally across
the street from Lucas Oil Stadium where the Colts play and I park next to the Bankers Life Fieldhouse where the
Pacers and Fever play. I’m also planning on going to an Indianapolis Indian’s game against the Gwinnett Braves Sunday. A little taste of home up here in the north should be a comfort.

I’m sure things will pick up even more, but I’ll try my best to write all about it. I’m even going to get to go to an event in Louisville in mid-July. As always, feel free to check out my personal account of my experience here.

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