Archive for April, 2013

Behind the Scenes of the Minnesota Timberwolves Media

Story by Barrett Herrig

Many people love to watch professional sports but very few actually think about the business behind it.
Alex King, public relations director for the Minnesota Lynx, shed some light on what goes on  behind the scenes in the sports industry.

Behind the Scenes In Professional Basketball

Operations in the public relations department for the Lynx vary from day to day.

Alex King

Alex King
Minnesota Lynx photo

Alex said, the average day involves:

  • Formulating pitches for local media
  • Formulating pitches for national media
  • Setting up interviews for the players with the media

Basically, a big part of his job is to make sure they are very visible in the local media, both on radio, television and in the newspapers.

Challenges With Public Relations

The most challenging part about King’s  job is  balancing expectations between departments and groups of people. He said that he is often times put in a position between what the front office/sales side would like and what the basketball operations/players/coaches can actually do.

“There are plenty of instances where someone will come to me with a great idea involving a number of players or coaches, but unfortunately for a variety of reasons, it can’t work,” he said.

I then asked him what the most challenging issue he has faced in his career was.  He replied that the toughest challenge was learning the routines and preferences for all of the players and coaches on the team.

Perks Of the Job

Setting the challenges aside, I asked him what he enjoys most about his job.  He said that he loves the traveling aspects.

“It gives me a chance to see parts of the country that I wasn’t familiar with, and it really helps build my relationship with the players and coaches,” he said.

He emphasized the importance of getting to know everybody’s routines and habits because it comes to be incredibly useful when pitching stories to media members or trying to schedule interviews/photo-shoots.

Background History

The sports field is what I dream to be involved in someday, so I asked Alex how he got to where he is today.

He said hard work, perseverance, and a little luck.  He had family connections and was able to get an internship with a sports entertainment group in Salt Lake City, working with the Utah Jazz, Salt Lake Bees and the Miller Motorsports Park.

He worked thankless hours to prove his capabilities.  He then applied for a part-time internship with the Minnesota Timberwolves PR department, which turned into the full time job that he has today.

Advice For Job Seekers

King’s advice for somebody going into the field of media, or any career for that matter,  is to never say “no.”

He also said that whenever given an opportunity; prove that you can go above and beyond, no matter how simple the task.

Taylor Adrian

Taylor Adrian
Minnesota Lynx photo

Make yourself known and stand out from the crowd.

“The old adage “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is partially correct, but really it’s not about who you know, it’s about who knows you,” he said.

“If the right people know you, and know that you can do the job and do it well, then you’re set.”

Taylor Adrian, a Lynx/Timberwolves sales employee, agrees with King.

Working hard and staying ambitious is how he got where he is today.

“The sports world is a popular field that everybody wants to be involved with, hundreds of people applied for my position, Adrian said.”

“Hard work  landed me this job, never give up.”

For More Information About the Lynx or the Timberwolves:

Click here for the Timberwolves webpage, or here for the Lynx.

The Twitter handles for these teams are :

  • @MNtimberwolves
  • @minnesotalynx
  • @Twolves_PR

Minnesota State University, Mankato

Contact: Barrett Herrig

86 Cottage Path

Mankato, MN 56001

April 10, 2013

Feldstein will give a talk at Media Day celebration

Mark Feldstein

Mark Feldstein
University of Maryland photo

MANKATO, Minn. – Mark Feldstein, former investigative correspondent for CNN and ABC, is coming to give a speech at MSU Mankato’s Media Day celebration Tuesday, April 16.

Feldstein, currently the Richard Eaton Broadcast Journalism Professor at the University of Maryland, will give his speech based off of his 2010 national award winning book “Poisoning the Press: Richard Nixon, Jack Anderson, and the Rise of Washington’s Scandal Culture.”

Media Day begins with a scholarship reception at 3 p.m. in CSU 253-5.Feldstein will address members of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and others interested in becoming journalists from 4-5 p.m. in the same room.

His speech will follow in the Ostrander Auditorium at 7 p.m.

Feldstein’s visit to MSU Mankato’s Media Day was made possible by a grant from the Nadine B. Andreas Foundation.

These events are of no cost and are open to the public.

Contact Barrett Herrig with any questions at 507-822-1865 or email at


MicrophoneAudio plays a very important role in today’s media.  It has the ability to take a mediocre story to the next level if done properly.  Poynter University is a great place to go for tips and tricks of the trade for little or no cost.  The session Poynter offers, telling stories with sound, gives great instruction on how to produce a successful audio clip.

A Few Tips From Poynter

  • Scout out the location prior to the interview.  This will give you an opportunity to find the best location to record your host with minimal interference.
  • Record some natural and ambient sounds to play throughout your recording.  This helps the listeners visualize the place setting.
  • Choose the correct microphone for the application.  There are many styles of microphones that serve different purposes so you want to be sure you have the right one.
  • Make sure that the person you are interviewing answers in complete sentences.  You want to do as little talking as possible, additional audio can be added back at the studio.

These are just a few of the important tips that I have learned from Poynter.  It covers many other areas related to media such as language of the image, video storytelling for the web and five steps to multimedia stories.

It is a great learning tool and I would recommend it to anybody interested.

Twelve Construction Workers Die In 18 Months

The Las Vegas Sun wrote a great online article about the deaths of construction workers on the strip.  This article exposed the safety issues that ended up being responsible for twelve deaths in 18 months.


Several photos were taken that captured the emotions of family members and friends to give readers an excellent perspective of what they are going through.  These things are what helped this story receive the great honor of the Pultizer Prize.

This story became very popular not only because of the quality, but because it was an extremely newsworthy subject that was very interesting to the public.  Twelve people dying within 18 months due to similar causes raises eyebrows and attracts readership.

The sense of urgency to publish the story is what gave the Las Vegas Sun the leading edge.