Skip to content

PRSA Doubleheader

May 15, 2013

By Betty Carlin, Principal at Carlin Communications

Ever wonder what it’s like to handle public relations for a Major League Baseball team?

PRSA Tampa Bay Chapter members had a unique opportunity May 9th to get an inside look from longtime Tampa Bay Rays Vice President of Communications Rick Vaughn.

Double Header_twoWith 27 years in professional sports – 17 of which have been with the Tampa Bay Rays – it was easy to see why Rick Vaughn is one of the deans of PR in baseball and the Tampa Bay area. Much respected by local and national media, as well as fellow PR colleagues for his professionalism and PR savvy, Rick has consistently guided the Rays’ PR efforts with a steady hand, deftly working behind the scenes at keeping the news and public persona of the team as positive as possible.

Rick recounted his tenure with the Rays from a decade of last-place finishes to a stunning American League championship and World Series appearance to disappointing attendance and concerns about Tropicana Field’s viability.

In a candid discussion with attendees, Rick shared what it’s like to work with Joe Madden and fun things they’ve done to keep the team upbeat and motivated. The immediacy of social media and the 24/7 news cycle have reshaped not only how the team connects with fans but also how quickly they must respond to news.

Rick describes his role with the Rays as “building relationships” whether it’s with the media, local officials, coaches or individual players.

Program participants enjoyed ballpark fare including hot dogs, BBQ sandwiches, popcorn and peanuts, from the Rays ExecutiveDouble Header_four Board Room overlooking the field as the Toronto Blue Jays took batting practice.

Following the program, attendees were able to cheer on the Tampa Bay Rays against the Toronto Blue Jays from a field-level baseline box behind the Rays bullpen while continuing to network with their peers. David Price struck out eight batters as he battled fellow 2012 Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey. While the score was close throughout the game, the Rays won 5-4 in the 10th inning with a walk off walk.

The evening was definitely a home run for those who attended.

No comments yet

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: