For this assignment, I interviewed Chelsea Kuchta, a fan relations employee with the Lakeland Flying Tigers and Detroit Tigers spring training. Although she is quite young, Chelsea has a great education and experience background as she graduated from Michigan State with majors in political science and communications. During her education, she focused mainly on interpersonal communication. In addition to her schooling, she has worked as an intern at Disney World and is planning to rejoin the Disney community relations crew after the 2010 spring training season ends. Chelsea and I are co-workers at Tigertown in Lakeland, Florida and this interview was conducted in a face-to-face manner.
What is a typical week like?
On game days, Chelsea has quite a busy schedule. Pre-game tasks include creating informational posters and finding children in the crowd to run the rosin bag to the pitcher’s mound, throw out the first pitch, and say “Play ball!” During games, she hands out promotions such as free Zaxby’s chicken meals and BD’s Mongolian Grill coupons in between innings. On other days, Chelsea works hard in the office creating posters, organizing information into spreadsheets, and making important phone calls to sponsors.
What is a project you are especially proud of?
When Chelsea was working at Disney, she was in placed in charge of cast members in the college program. During this time, she helped the cast members create and maintain resumes. One part of this experience that she was most proud of was the fact that many of the cast members she trained were offered Disney internships after the college program.
What do you do to keep current in the PR industry?
According to Chelsea, keeping updated on trends is very important to the work of a public relations professional. To keep current in the industry, she maintains a facebook and twitter account. Furthermore, Chelsea stays updated on professional sports by following ESPN news, reading blogs, and searching for articles on the Detroit Tigers’ official website.
What do you wish you could have known before staring a career in PR?
Chelsea said that she wished she had more “hands-on” experience speaking with businesses while she was in college. She discussed how learning about how to communicate and actually communcating are two totally different things.
How important is writing in your career?
Writing is a very important part of the public relations career, especially in the areas Chelsea has worked in. At Disney, for example, she spent a huge amount of time writing emails that were professional, clear, and concise. However, she stated that verbal communication is more relavent to her job than written communication.
What are 3 tips to someone starting in public relations?
1. Be confident. No matter what the situation is, it is important to appear that you know all the answers or at least know where to look for answers.
2. Do your research. It is important to know as much information as possible about the companies or clients you are working with.
3. Ask questions. It is better to ask questions and do a job right the first time instead of not asking questions and doing it wrong.
How did your education prepare you?
The most imporant class Chelsea took to prepare her for a career in public relations was Interpersonal Communication. In this class, she learned why people communicate in different ways. For example, someone may be perceived as rude because of previous events that have occured in their life that day. People tend to carry their negative feelings onto others.
What has surprised you the most about your career?
Chelsea acknowledged that the thing that surprised her the most is the lack of communcation skills within companies. Although communication can improve, most people seem to be stuck in their ways and are not interested in change. In addition, she described how networking plays a huge deal in getting what you want as opposed to experience.
How does technology affect your daily work?
Technology is used everyday. It is important to keep up with what is happening minute-to-minute. It is important to check your email as often as possible. It is highly necessary to purchase a Blackberry so email can be checked out of the office as well. With the Tigers, Chelsea is required to use different computer programs to create promotional flyers, brochures, and other forms of media. Additionally, co-workers keep up with each other by using radios.
After my interview with Chelsea I feel like I am more likely to pursue a career in public relations. As I sit in the outfield during games, I get to watch Chelsea and her co-workers interact with the fans. I would love to make the fans’ experience an extremely memorable one. Although public relations requires a lot of work, my goal in life is to put a smile on someone else’s face. This is possible through a career in public relations.