What I’ve been up to in my year of Non-Blogging


I haven’t blogged on this site in quite awhile. So, if you’ve been wondering what I’ve been doing during the last 489 days, I’ve been doing a whole lot of hockey-related work for the Penguins. My friend from high school, Alex Duffy, recently interviewed me for a piece on her website, socialmediaandco. Here is a peek at some of the article. If you want to read the whole thing, CLICK HERE.

AD: What is your job title? What does that job entail?
AP: My job title is “New Media Coordinator”. I manage the Penguins Social Media presence. Essentially, I am posting on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, Google+, and Pinterest all the time, but in a strategic fashion. I take content that is created by our writers and video team, frame it, and get it out to our 3 million social followers/fans. I put together reports on how the content is performing and then optimize it based on our analytics. I also do this for our sponsor integrations on digital (planning, execution, and reporting). Other than framing content, I’m also a short-form content producer. I live tweet games, make graphics, engage with fans, respond to customer service concerns, and act as a fellow fan for our followers. I also work with and/or decide on various social media related vendors including analytics platforms, contesting tools, fan content aggregation platforms, and social media integrations in the Penguins mobile app.

AD: How long have you been working for the Pittsburgh Penguins?
AP: Just a little bit over 1 year.

AD: What is a typical day for you inside the offices?
AP: Work is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get! Every day is different in sports and especially in Social Media. Game days have some consistency (certain sponsored elements and pieces of content that need to get out), but for the most part, things change at the drop of a hat. Here are some things I have done in the past month at work:

1.     Ran over to Dunkin’ Donuts (one of our sponsors) to take pictures of their donuts – they have an integration with our PensPoints loyalty program and the promotional photos provided weren’t going to resonate with fans on our social media platforms.
2.     Negotiated a contract with a really cool social media vendor for an awesome integration during Fan Appreciation Week and the playoffs (sorry, but you’re going to have to wait to see what it is!)
3.     Worked with a sponsor on forming legal rules and regulations for their upcoming Facebook contest.
4.     Working out kinks with our app vendor to get a new social hub on our mobile app (fan tweets and Instagram posts)
5.     Followed Marc-Andre Fleury around at the NHL All-Star Game while capturing it on our social media networks (through signings, media availability, locker room interviews, and the red carpet).
6.     Got into a GIF war with the Edmonton Oilers.
7.     Agreed to go speak to a Pitt sports management class (crazy, right?)
8.     Taped 25 sheets of sports valentines to my office wall to compare ours to other teams and organizations. Looking for good ideas all the time! (I still like ours the best, though!)
9.     Came up with new recurring video ideas that will be played weekly on social and will be sold to sponsors.
10.  Met with our President and COO about what is trending on social media, how social media platforms have changed, and how we can stay on the cutting edge?

AD: Do you have Social counter parts? ie: what is the hierarchy.
AP: Yes, but it’s a bit confusing. The Penguins New Media Department is a subset of the larger Marketing Department. I manage another New Media Coordinator (who’s primary responsibilities are our social media graphics  – including our game-related info-graphics, sponsor graphics, and milestone graphics for players.) I also manage a part-timer who focuses on specific sponsor activations on social, organizing our category-based system on Percolate (our social media posting/analytics tool), and approving fan content to go up on the big screen during games. We have an New Media Intern as well. Then there are two website writers and one website coordinator.

AD: Which Social Network do you find most effective? and why.
AP: Different social networks are effective for different things. We have unique audiences on each one with different goals. Twitter is effective for getting out news, fast. Facebook is great when we need to strategically place a targeted ad. Snapchat connects us with our youngest fans (and we get to have more fun there). And Instagram is growing faster than anything else. Do I have to just pick one?

AD: How do you create your Social Networking goals? ie: likes, interactions.
AP: Sometimes goals come from the top. Our management likes having high follower numbers when compared to other teams. Despite being one of the smallest cities population-wise in the NHL, the Penguins are in the top 5 for followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. That’s something we try to maintain and build upon. Personally, I look for shares and positive mentions. It is easy for sports teams to get likes on posts. NHL fans are some of the most loyal and tribal fans in the world (and Pens fans were just named the best NHL fans by Forbes). Everyone loves Sid, or has something to say about a trade, or will RT to wish a player a happy birthday – but are they talking about that content with their friends? That’s what I want. Something that is good enough that people will tell their friends and family about it. Or they will screenshot it from Snapchat and then tweet about how much they loved it.

One comment on “What I’ve been up to in my year of Non-Blogging

  1. Jim Cartwright says:

    Welcome back to the world of hockey blogging….I missed the Five for Boarding blog,,,I was not sure if you slid into the net of a hockey player and he swept you off the ice to never be heard from again…it’s nice that you’re back…and it looks like you enjoyed the past year with the Penguins…you need to set up a place for me to get a couple of Vancouver and Sochi Pucks (actual game pucks) signed by Sid the Kid…let me know..
    I’ll look for your blog, and I’ll read more in depth about your year while gone with the “tuxedo boys”!
    Best regards,
    Jim Cartwright

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