I had a difficult time in contacting a journalist to shadow for the day. Contacting Tampa Bay Times, and Tampa Tribune, the only response I had were ignored emails and phone calls. Being out of luck and running out of time, I was able to get permission from Mr. Humphrey to shadow Thomas Kolbe. He is the Sports Information Director for University of Tampa.
It was easy to get in touch with Tom. After sending in an email I got a quick response from him telling me I was able to meet up with him at the Martinez Athletic Center for a quick interview session. I met with him in his office and we had a really long talk about what his main purpose as a sports information director for the university. Tom basically manages and runs the news and media of UT Tampa Spartans athletics. He runs the UT Tampa Spartans athletics page and he makes sure that all the information on the website are up to date. When a new athlete is joining the school, he will be in charge of getting the players bio on the website and he will see to it that the athlete’s name will be up on the roster.
Tom told me that they are not really into the journalism side but they do get involved with local newspapers. When a local newspaper wants to write an article of a certain athlete, they will have to go through him to get the details and notify the athlete about it. Social media plays a huge role in his field. Twitter and Facebook are the websites where he is able to inform the UT community of any upcoming sports and announcements that are sports related. He also told me that press releases are a major thing in his department. For example if there was an athlete that got “Player of the Year” award from NCAA, he will have to issue a press release about the award. He told me one thing during our talk and it was called Advances. Advances is that when there is a game coming up, he will have to promote it and also give out a press release with details regarding the game. Like the venue, time, date, and etc.
He told me his job is mainly to be a publicist for the athletes. If something comes up and University of Tampa needs to know about it, he will be the one that will give the news. Communication plays a big part in his job and he needs to be always up to date with NCAA news and just mainly sports in UT. it was great listening to what he had to offer. Really appreciated his time and giving me great information regarding what happens behind the scenes for sports writers and communications. I learned a great deal from him and it was worth the time interviewing him.