Are You Ready to Work in Baseball?
Josh Rawitch, Senior VP of Content and Communication for the Arizona Diamondbacks joins us on the Work in Sports Podcast
Hi, I’m Brian Clapp Director of Content for WorkinSports.com and this is the WorkinSports Podcast.
I had this dream early in my career that I wanted to work in media relations
– I thought the idea of being embedded with a pro team, going on the road, being the players buffer to the media, working with reporters, gathering intel and writing press releases would be pretty awesome.
In fact it still seems pretty awesome.
You know why I didn’t pursue it?
True story, I didn’t think I was a good enough writer. You know why I didn’t think that? Because I had a teacher my sophomore year of high school tell me I wasn’t a very good writer.
To this point I had excelled in school, but for some reason this ruined my psyche. I bet that teacher doesn’t remember doing it, they probably have zero recollection, but it sure stuck with me. For the next 15-20 years I never thought I was a capable writer.
In college I avoided classes with a high writing requirement. In fact, I didn’t pick a certain school (Rutgers) because when I visited, they guide told me he probably wrote 350 pages in assignments this year. I remember it vividly, I think I started to get ill feeling I’d be a failure because I can’t write.
The point of all this: I am a professional writer now. My written words have been read by literally millions of people.
Don’t let anyone else determine your future, don’t give away your power as easily as I did. I gave this teacher my power, I handed her my belief system and I gave up on something I was actually pretty darn good at.
Work to improve, listen to criticism - that’s all good and important - but if someone tells you you aren’t good enough, or someone tells you you’ll never work in sports you should just get a job over here instead
Don’t listen. Block out that negativity and keep your head about you.
I listened to everything she had to say and it became my truth.
And while I’m lucky my career ended up great and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every step… I often look back at that and wonder – if I had just believed in myself a little more what would have happened?
Sometimes these interview spark something in side of me, and I hope they do the same to you.
When I interviewed Josh Rawitch Sr. VP of Content and Communication for the Arizona Diamondbacks last week all of these thoughts came back… my excitement for PR and media relations, my intrigue into the day-to-day lifestyle and what game day is like. I felt like a kid talking to Josh, excited about his career.
I think you’ll really enjoy this interview with Josh – lot’s of great advice on how he hires, what he looks for, what his day to day is like… really good time – here’s my interview with Josh Rawitch:
Questions for Josh Rawitch
1: Lets’ start off by just getting a deeper understanding of your role with the Diamondbacks – as the Sr. VP of Content and Communication, you have many responsibilities and communication channels that fall under your purview –
2: I imagine with that much on your plate no two days are the same, but if you can, outline what a normal game day looks like for you, and then during the off-season how different things are.
3: With your responsibilities ranging from social media communication to player relations, you are dealing with many different types of people --- entry level recent graduates, multi-million dollar players, rookies, executive staff – do you have a management style that is consistent across the board or do you have to adjust your methods with different people?
4: How about staffing – you oversee many different departments with different needs and different personalities – what is your philosophy on hiring? What do you look for and expect in new hires?
5: Over your 23 years with the Dodgers, Diamondbacks and MLB Advanced Media you’ve worked with many people, hired many people and seen success and failure first hand – what is your assessment of why some people thrive in the sports industry and others flame out – is there a consistent formula or pattern?
6: For entry level job seekers or people in college who will soon be seeking entry level jobs, what advice would you give them to make themselves the most desirable to professional sports teams once they graduate?
7: With the Diamondbacks you’ve had a very successful social media approach including original video content and a deep relational connection with the fans. I’ve read too many stories of social media directors or coordinators being fired for going too far in the moment, saying the wrong thing and damaging the brand. Many team social media roles can be entry level or early level jobs, but they hold the potential for major impact -- how do you keep your staff on point, on brand and on message?
8: Let’s dig into player relations a little more – I’m sure there is a team and organizational philosophy on how you want the players to interact with the sports media and through social media – how do you get a new player, or a rookie, onboarded onto your team philosophy/process?
9: How important is it to build a personal relationship with the players so that you build trust and connection?
10: Flip that over to the media side now, how important is it to build a relationship with the beat reporters and bloggers – or is there a different relationship approach there?
11: More and more teams are creating their own media and content departments – whereas information always used to funnel through newspapers and television stations, now the teams are controlling the messaging. How much has this approach changed external communication and PR from when you first came into the industry versus now?
Lightning Round for Josh Rawitch
1: The Diamondbacks unveiled a Funnel Cake Chicken sandwich on sale at Chase Field this year – how many did you have this season?
2: In your media relations role you have overseen trips to Mexico City, China, Taiwan, Sydney, Australia, Hermosillo, Japan, New Zealand and the Dominican Republic. Which was the best trip and why?
3: You clearly travel a great deal – so which activity do you do most on the plane – sleep, read, watch movies or work?
4: True or False: The Arizona State reptile is the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake technically it is the ridge nose rattlesnake – close but no luck.
5: You attended Indiana university – I know you are a baseball guy, but how would you have handled Bobby Knight if you were in media relations back then?