Name of Professional: Erin Finegold

Profession/Title: Director of Corporate Communications and Events

Business/Company name: Dallas Mavericks

Date of Interview: 13 October, 2017

Interview Assessment #2

My interview with Ms. Finegold was greatly educational and interesting for me; I learned more about public relations talking to her for 30 minutes than I have in the totality of my research this year. Ms. Finegold has worked for many reputable companies, such as Redbull and, of course, the Mavericks. Due to her extensive experience, she was able to answer many of my questions about the logistics and strategy associated with PR.

My favorite part of the interview was getting to dig deeper into the writing aspects of PR, as that is primarily why I chose PR as my topic of study this year. Ms. Finegold again emphasized the importance of good writing skills in PR, detailing how if your writing is eloquent and clear, you will create a clearer message for media and press to broadcast out. I learned that PR professionals often write press releases for publication in newspapers, magazines, websites, etc. promoting an upcoming event for their company or addressing a situation within it. Ms. Finegold told me that if your press release is well written, writers and editors will not have to reword and edit it for publication but rather can publish it directly, thus allowing your original message to come across clearer and the company is represented exactly as you originally intended. However, I also learned that PR professionals do not just write press releases, but also frequently create online copy for websites, publish blog posts, and write articles.

Some more new and useful knowledge I gained from the interview, also related to my journalism experience, is the large amount of media contact required in PR. Ms. Finegold told me that contact with reporters is a daily occurrence; sending them press releases, seeing how the public is viewing and reacting to material dealing with their company, and learning what audience their writing attracts are all important in completing a public relations task. PR professionals also work closely with media when getting them to attend events and sharing content with them, because the company’s customers or consumers would not know anything about the event were it not covered on TV and on the internet. Public relations, according to Ms. Finegold, is all about getting people to relate to the company differently and telling the stories that happen within the company, and the media is basically the only platform that allows them to achieve that purpose on such a large scale.

I also got one of my questions answered that no other professional has yet been able to answer, and that is how PR specialists cater a specific project to a certain demographic. Ms. Finegold told me that in order to reach a specific audience, she often strategically concentrates and places material on media channels that that specific demographic visits most often. For example, a project targeting teenage boys would do well to be promoted on Twitter, while a project with a target of middle aged females would be successful if promoted on Facebook and in D Magazine.

Ms. Finegold was very helpful in showing me how PR works, the different strategies implemented within it, and how writing skills play into that. This interview taught me that PR looks different to every company, and I am excited to look further into this idea as I continue into my mentorship.