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Philadelphia 76ers Media Relations Manager Rob King Brings His Communication Skills To High Levels

Rob King | Manager, Media Relations | Philadelphia 76ers

A strong PR team includes both extroverts and introverts. There are plenty of successful introverted people throughout the field.

Rob King

Manager, Media Relations

Philadelphia 76ers

× The interview with Rob King was conducted via a typed conversation. Editing changes were made to make it easier to read while maintaining the voice of the interview.

Tell us about your role as the Manager, Media Relations of the Philadelphia 76ers.

As Manager, Media Relations for the Philadelphia 76ers, my role is to support our basketball communications staff, while assisting media covering the team on a daily basis.

I’m responsible for writing all basketball-centric press releases that are distributed to media, so it’s extremely important that I’m connected to the team’s front office each and every day.

Among many other tasks, it is the responsibility of the basketball communications staff to coordinate media availabilities for our players, coaches and staff.

Nowadays, our department hosts media on Zoom calls during which 76ers’ players and coaches field questions from media members remotely.

One of the best parts of my job is that there’s no such thing as a typical day. I like to say that, “no two days are the same,” and it’s true.

In my role, the day is determined by what is happening with the team on any given day – practice day, game day (home or road), off day, etc. And that extends into the offseason when there are such events as the NBA Draft or NBA Summer League.

It creates for an exciting schedule and keeps you on your toes.

What communication skills are most important to a Media Relations professional? How did you acquire these skills?

First and foremost, the ability to write. Whether it be the game notes that are distributed to media in advance of a given game, a press release, or simply an email, writing is king in the media relations field.

As for oral communication, the ability to start and hold a conversation with anyone at all is a necessity. Media relations professionals spend a ton of time taking and making phone calls each day.

I’ve always been passionate about writing. In school, I gravitated toward classes based in writing, which led me to major in communications, concentrating in both journalism and sports communication.

My college experience allowed me to harness my writing ability, and internships in the public relations field enabled me to tailor my writing style toward press releases and media-facing documents. I’ve long been a conversationalist, especially when it comes to sports, so that came naturally.

That said, there’s a learning curve to operating as a spokesperson on behalf of a pro sports team, and that’s something I continue working on each day.

Being in Media Relations, how important is social media for you personally? Which social networks do you use most frequently, find hardest to navigate and use, and see changing the most?

My personal social media channels are private. I separate my professional and social worlds that way.

The social network I use most frequently when it comes to work is Twitter, hands down.

A few years ago, I created an account, @SixersStats, which allows our department to publicize statistical updates in real-time, during games. I view it as our game notes “coming to life.”

I’d also add that Twitter is extremely important for keeping up with news surrounding the NBA, sports and the world in general. I don’t see Twitter going away any time soon, and with the addition of “Fleets”, it’s almost becoming a one-stop-shop.

Was there ever a point while working with the Philadelphia 76ers where you felt bad rejecting some media organization(s) while accepting others? How long did it take you to overcome this and how did you go about it?

That’s a great question. When first starting out in the field, it’s natural to be curious as to why teams/leagues credential certain media organizations over others, but I wouldn’t necessarily use the words “felt bad.”

There’s a lot of self-teaching that goes into understanding what separates a professional, dedicated media outlet from a fringe or illegitimate one.

The previous question ties into this as social media has blurred the lines a bit in this area, i.e. someone’s personal Instagram account is not a media outlet, but it certainly may have a dedicated following.

In Media Relations, how important is it for you to be naturally extroverted? On the flip side, can someone be naturally introverted and work in a Media Relations role?

It’s important to be extroverted, for sure, but I certainly think it’s something that can be built over time.

Often an entry-level media relations person, especially within basketball communications, is focused on administrative-type work, such as writing the game notes, looking up statistics, working on media guides, creating credentials, etc.

When that’s an employee’s main focus, it might be natural to shift toward introversion, but as that employee grows in his/her role, the extroversion is likely to come along.

A strong PR team includes both extroverts and introverts. There are plenty of successful introverted people throughout the field.

Andres Larranaga Andres's Final Thoughts

Whether it’s written or oral, it seems clear that communication is very important for Rob King, Manager, Media Relations for the Philadelphia 76ers. As it should be for anyone in the same or in a similar role wanting to get the right message out. Through the good events and bad, you want to convey all thoughts and emotions properly. Rob King explains this communication perfectly and provides great advice for the next round of sport management hopefuls.

Connect With Rob King