All-Star Stories & Advice from Sports PR Pro Allison Melangton

by Anjelica Dudek

The first morning of the 2016 National Conference, PRSSA groups were introduced to Allison Melangton. She was President of the Super Bowl Host Committee from 2008 to 2012, when the Super Bowl was held in Indianapolis.

During her keynote speaking event, she discussed how a PR professional could run a successful project, like the Super Bowl Host Committee did.

Melangton said to the PRSSA crowd that we are “in a very interesting field because it’s more and more diversified. It’s not single focused at all.”

When running an event like this, she advised us to “understand your community.” Despite the event happening in the city, she said many of the volunteers were not “taking off their shirts and painting their faces.” She said not to plan around the sporting event itself, but to start from the outside and work in.

“We all generally work at problems the same way,” she said. “Make your brain think differently–don’t think mainstream.”

She said her committee took into consideration what the citizens who weren’t able to volunteer outside could do inside their home.

One of the many events the Host Committee planned for the Super Bowl was a knitting project called Super Scarves. During this project, people who could knit and sew were able to help out with the Super Bowl without having to leave their houses. These crafters created scarves for volunteers who were working outdoors.

Allison said that sporting events are chosen in Indy because clients say “Indy puts a heart in their events.”

With regard to picking her team, Melangton suggested picking people who are “team-oriented and passionate about something.”

“This way, you’re going to get more out of them,” she said.

She also suggested people who are organized and have a high level of transparency. She said this comes in handy when you need to sit down with conflicting co-workers to work out problems.

During the Q & A session, one PRSSA student asked Melangton for some tips to succeed in sports PR, especially for female professionals.

“It’s the progression of working hard and being great,” she said. “Also, take opportunities when they come.”

Melangton did note that she never “looked at sports PR as a gender thing.” She said she found with the “blending of men and women, you get the best results.”


 

IMG_0237 About The Author: Anjelica Dudek is the 2016-17 Digital Content Director for Wayne State PRSSA. Graduating in December 2017, she is looking forward to gaining career experience in the PR field. In her free time, Anjelica enjoys window shopping and napping.

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