LA Dodgers publicity boss says PR must look to their own assets to break and control news

Tim Burrowes and Joe Jareck speaking on stage at Comms Conn.

Tim Burrowes and Joe Jareck speaking on stage at Comms Conn.

The head of public relations for baseball team the LA Dodgers says the industry needs to look outside traditional media outlets to social media and their own assets to get their messages out in the way they want.

In the keynote session at CommsCon at Doltone House in Sydney, Joe Jarek director of public relations for the $225m brand told the audience that newspapers and traditional TV media were no longer always the best way of getting a message out, quipping “you can’t measure column inches anymore as there aren’t any inches left in traditional media”.

He said: “I’m of the belief we should give everything to — there are more eyeballs there. Gone are the days when (for us) The Los Angeles Times ruled the city.

“Very few (media) have that kind of influence anymore. So I’m of the view of giving it to our own website which is double or triple what the readership of the Los Angeles Times is in print and online.”

“And we can spin it any way we want. You can tell the (in-house) writer ‘here do this’ and they’ll do it.”In Australia the issue of sporting codes such as the NRL and AFL launching their own media brands is a growing trend, with much discussion around whether these outlets which employ professional journalists are independent of their codes.

Jareck also spoke about how important Twitter was to the LA Dodgers and how the platform was now dominant in terms of breaking news.

“The Dodgers use them all (social platforms). I would say we are biggest on Twitter and we sometimes release news on Twitter and sometimes don’t,” said Jarek.

“That’s always a battle back and forth — media can’t stand it when we release news on Twitter – ‘It’s hard news why do you get to break it?’

“Facebook is more an escape for people — 15 minutes here 20 minutes there — but Twitter is the news. You have to be constantly scrolling and that’s how the national writers all break news these days.”

Jareck also spoke about the recent controversy involving player Zac Greinke and his comments saying he had “zero excitement” about the current trip to Australia.

“Like the United States, Australian media does have a flair for the dramatic,” he said, “They took something which is minor and blew it up.

“Zac is painfully honest to a fault sometimes, when he talks about pitching the writers love him because he gives them so much.

“He came off the field and said he wasn’t excited at all about the trip to Australia. That’s all he said and he did not disparage the people of Australia, but he is extremely regimented. He knew he would be one of the guys coming over here, until he got hurt, and all of a sudden he had to change his routine in order to get ready.”

Nic Christensen  

*A previous version of this story incorrectly attributed the comments of Greinke to fellow player Andre Ethier.


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