UMD students to host day of sports media and PR

Illustration by: Megan Rowe

Illustration by: Megan Rowe

Two UMD students, Michelle Paquette and Anna Gunderson, have organized a Day of Sports Media and Public Relations on Thursday, Feb. 22 at 2 p.m. in the Library Rotunda at UMD. The panel will include Kirsten Wenker, Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx senior corporate communications manager, Matt Hodson, Western Collegiate Hockey Association associate commissioner of public relations, Bill Watson, former Chicago Blackhawks player and former UMD assistant men’s hockey coach, and Bob Nygaard, Assistant Communications Athletic Director at UMD.

Following the panel discussion, there will be a networking hour at 3:30 p.m. to give students the chance to connect with professionals in their fields. The event’s creator and co-coordinator, Michelle Paquette, said that she saw a need for a panel discussion for sports media and public relations when she found out that UMD did not offer any public relations classes.

“We are specifically going to be talking about media relations because we do have people who are in the media and people who work with the media,” Paquette said. “We’ll be talking about social media use and we’ll be talking about some tips and advice for people who are interested in going into general media and PR or specifically sports media and PR.”

The panel will also discuss the kinds of skills and attributes that are important in sports media and public relations and answer questions about social media, media relations, ethics and corporate crisis communication. Most importantly, the event will offer students interested in communications careers the opportunity to network with experts in their career fields.

“Besides just getting exposure to different careers, I hope what they really get out of it is a chance to network with people who have careers that fall within their skill sets,” Paquette said. “It’s important for people like myself who will graduate with a communication degree, journalism degree, marketing degree or a writing degree that they get exposed to all the different things that they can do because there are so many avenues that you can take after college.”

The panel will have a question and answer session following the panel discussion to give students the opportunity to get their questions answered by people that are experienced in the field of sports media and public relations. Paquette hopes that the discussion and networking gives students the opportunity to find out what kinds of jobs are the best fit for them.

“I think it’s always helpful to have advice before going into anything, but especially when you’re choosing a career, there are so many different paths you can take,” Paquette said. “Finding a job is important but finding the right fit is also important and being able to build your professional network is essential to finding the right fit for you.”

NewsTyler Schendel