Furcal and the media cycle
Lots of coverage today regarding Rafael Furcal, including stories in the LA Times, Daily News, and the Orange County Register, among others. After making six errors in the first 20 games, Furcal took it upon himself to get extra groundballs with the first base coach, Mariano Duncan, and hopefully this will help him get back on track. As you know, he’s been battling some nagging injuries and today’s day off, as well as yesterday’s, could give him the boost he needs.
For those of you who don’t get to follow the news cycle as much as those of us in the PR world, I figured I’d write a brief post on why it is that you often see the same subjects from the numerous outlets that cover us.
Generally speaking, we have seven people that cover us every day — four daily papers, MLB.com, KFWB and the Associated Press. These are the only ones that travel with us on the road and in the case of the AP, they’ve got someone in each city, so they don’t actually travel.
The clubhouse opens to the media three and a half hours before game time and is open all the way up until 45 minutes before, with the exception of when the team is on the field taking batting practice. Every day before the game, Grady Little meets with the media and talks about the main subjects of the day while trying to answer any questions that the reporters have. This is why, for the most part, the same subjects come up in all the coverage the following day (or in MLB.com’s case, later that day).
The exception comes when one of the reporters thinks they know something that the others don’t. In that case, they’l ask me or Joe Jareck, our assistant director of public relations, if they can stay after the group media session and ask Grady something on their own. Sometimes they have a real scoop, sometimes it’s nothing major, but it’s a way to differentiate your coverage from the competition.
Another exception will be on a day like today. Without a game, the writers all have "off-day stories," which they will have been working on throughout the week. Usually this is a feature of some sort on one of the players, coaches, staff members, etc. and most of the time, they differ from the other people covering the team.
This is probably more than you care to know about how the team is covered, but with yesterday’s news about a new spokesman in the White House, I thought it might be interesting to explain how news gets made, even in the sports world.