Episode 1 – Dallas Cowboys
0:00 Michelle: Hello I am Michelle Keefer with MK Consulting.
0:03 Brian: I’m Brian Murnahan with Murnahan Public Relations.
0:06 Michelle: This is the debut episode at the KPI Banter Show.
0:15 Brain: Where we bring you news from the industry, stories from our peers in the field and a little bit of entertainment.
0:20 Michelle: And a little bit of nerd talk.
0:22 Brian: This first episode we’re going to be talking to Joe Trahan and he’s the Public Relations coordinator with the Dallas Cowboys. He’s been there for a long time now actually and he’s going to talk to us all about what he does.
0:33 Michelle: So that was a fun interview for us, we got to go to the World Headquarters in Frisco Texas. So it was a really great conversation, so let’s take a look at a day in the life of Joe Trahan.
0:47 Joe Trahan: Which leads into what is a day in the life of a, not just a Cowboys PR person but NFL PR person which is very different than any type of PR In 74 I was in the military and public affairs officer for twenty eight years and there’s multitude of firms and there’s a ton of things I could have gone into and had the education board, got my master’s in PR But there’s something exhilarating about sports, I think especially a lot of us are very crazy about sports worldwide, especially in this country in particular for football. And the day to day thing is the cool part really is you get to work with everybody from the owner, to the janitor, to the star player, to the backup long snapper. You talk to everybody, you’re able to create these amazing relationships with people and you set up interviews with the ESPN , with the NBC. The Fox of the world, get to know these reporters. Guys that I grew up watching as kids like [NN Worder] and having discussion with them and then turn around and have to ask Tony Romo to do an interview with him and then again have the faith from our boss and our team to be able to do that.
And we have a staff of four people in our public relations staff, as well as a staff of four people in our community relations staff and I do our corporate stuff along with [Rich Dalrymple] and so basically between the four of us on the PR side we’re trying to juggle hundreds of requests each week for our players, hundreds of thousands really and that’s a matter of could be first page on Dallas Morning News or front page of Sports Illustrated. Could be a story that’s really good light for the player and could be something that’s not so much, so you actually have the power to be able to decide the fate of that, whether you credential the reporter or you allow the interview to happen or not and then from there it’s up to you to prep the player, just like any typical PR but with you it’s the sports angle. So you have to every day we’re scouring over all the information, we are cutting out newspaper clippings, we’re reading all the Internet stuff, all the rumors, everything you hear and then go into the source. So I mean it could be a bad situation or a player and it’s a crisis situation and you talked about having to get in front of the media. Or to great thing to get information about how the guy donate his time at a local hospital to help promote his brand and promote the fact that he’s willing to do this in his community.
And between doing that work with the coaches in terms of allowing the media come out to view a certain amount of practice and time and that, you’re also doing day to day statistical stuff. So the past two or three years I’ve been in charge of our weekly media release, which is all the information that is gathered for the weekly broadcast on NBC or Fox or ESPN. or CBS. as well as our local media if they’re going to use like for instance last year that Prescott broke numerous, numerous Cowboys records you know became the first NFL rookie quarterback draft in the forefront of later to start all sixteen games, the most passing yards by a rookie quarterback in team history over thirty seven hundred yards, the best touchdown interception ratio twenty three touchdowns and four interceptions and things like that. Which are really cool especially when they’re read on T.V. and that’s something you spend hours on that takes them ten seconds to read but you would have to really enjoy it to be a bit of a stat nerd although I was horrible at math, that wasn’t my greatest subject but football statistics, sports statistics are great.
So this is your type of thing, this is definitely for you. So you do a lot of that, it’s neat, it feels good when a media person turns around and asks, “Hey when’s the last time you know a guy rookie ran four hundred yards in a game or things like that?” and they come to you for that and obviously you keep up with the media guide which is a publication that few teams do actually print, but we do, probably one of the last teams to print that, but it’s over four hundred page of goodness of you know player bio’s, owner BIOS, more stats, historical stuff, number of players in the Hall of Fame, the coldest game we’ve ever played and hottest game ever played, anything like that is in that. We update that throughout the year which is now digital. We have a media website that you can go and find this information if you’re going to research old topics. So that’s kind of the day to day in terms of football stuff and the relations you create with that, travel with the team everywhere. The team maybe going to Can Ohio for instance for the Hall of Fame game as our owner becomes a six seat member of our Hall of Fame and would be very honored for that.
I get to go to Oxford California for training camp. We’re there for a month every year and that’s a day to day thing and as far as that we also, if we proceed in the playoffs, I go out to which we haven’t been as lucky lately, but if we do, if we ever go to Super Bowl obviously I would go to that. Along with that, so that’s the football stuff, in terms of corporate stuff obviously we’ve opened up ATT Stadium back in 2009 which is considered to be the greatest stadium in the nation and possibly in the world. We’re very proud of that building. Previous seasons we’ve had some good years and down years. That stadium has been a beacon for entertainment for football with over one hundred thousand people able to fill in that building, so it is the largest stadium in the world, three million square feet as well and I get to do a lot of media tours with that, so I get to bring in media. Since 2009 I’m given, I lost count of the number of tours but I’ve given tours of people from Japan, to England, to Mexico, to Sweden and it’s really cool seeing people’s reaction whether they’re been in the journalism game for thirty years or you give a tour to a kid who’s a kid journalist or whatever it is, it is the same reaction which is a lot of fun.
5:47 Michelle: So that was Joe and for being a cowboy’s guy he was quite impressive. I have a little bit of a confession to make. Although I live in Texas and not a Cowboys fan and so I did feel like I was trading on enemy’s territory but it was worth it. Was a good interview. So the thing that I was really impressed with was four people and their PR sees all of the statistics that they’re pulling for games, for the announcers, for the sport announcers and that is everything that’s going out into any print, press, local and regional, national and its talking about all the interviews that are being set up and for a global brand someone that’s recognized you know around the world I think that’s quite spectacular accomplishment.
6:25 Brian: Joe and his team do an outstanding job and to think that they do all that with limited staff with just 4 PR and 4 in Community Relations is really is something. We’re going forward with the rest of this interview we’re going to see Joe talk about what it is to be successful, how do they define success. One of the things I think is most impressive they defined it very similar to me and I think the fan experience is the preeminent way to really make it to success. But he gets into the 3 majors he really defines success by.
6:50 Michelle: Back to the interview with Joe.
6:52 Joe: Just now we just opened the beautiful building you’re inside of now, which is The Star and Frisco, Ford Centre of The Star in Frisco. That’s our new brand new training facility. So along with where the team trains and they stay and they eat it’s also where we have events in our Ford Center in the twelve thousand seat indoor facility that also doubles as a high school stadium. And for Frisco is an independent school district were eight of the nine schools in the district actually play their high school games here, playoff games. We also have high school soccer in here for those teams as well and then we’re also hosting events. James Taylor’s coming July 31st for the first major concert here at a track and field event major league across. So I work with a firm, a corporate communications firm that helps me get out that information as well, also unveiling the things that are coming for this facility, like Omni hotel which is later this summer as well as the bailiff got my rehab facility that’s coming later in 2018 and we’re going to have restaurants and bars and clubs to kind of create a new energy in the city of Frisco and again that’s all with the partnership with the Dallas Cowboys. The city of Frisco in the Frisco Independent school district. So again as a PR professional if you like sports, you like entertainment, architecture, art even, we have a beautiful art display coming here to the Stars some of what we have the stadium it’s all for you and you couldn’t ask for more to be a PR professional in the game especially the Dallas Cowboys.
So it’s an interesting thing that we have a very strong corporate sponsorship team and what’s neat about being on the corporate side of this on the PR side is being able to develop those relationships one and work with what we consider to be our teammates and the Dallas Cowboys and poise as well. So they come to me whether it’s Ford or Dr. Pepper or Pepsi or American Airlines, AT&T obviously and from there, there may be certain things, we unveil a new wing that’s now going to be named after American Airlines or something else or there could be a brand connection within a player that now has a relationship with [8:43 unintelligible] time piece or watch of us that unveils five or six new guys that are going to wear that watch. And what’s neat about that is honestly I didn’t know whole lot about that initially in terms of the corporate world but I was kind of thrown into that and kind of learn. A guy by the name of Daniels who’s an incredible, he’s now in charge of the Super Bowl in Atlanta, which you’ll see the host committee, learn a lot from him. And just kind of seeing how he would build, he would take something in a sponsorship and from there be able to get out their information but in a way that the Cowboy speak.
So what you’re trying to accomplish is people understand that the AT&T Stadium is the home of the Dallas Cowboys but what does that partnership with four mean? Why are we able to put four trucks inside of our stadium and why do we choose those trucks because that’s what our fans would like. And that’s something that we’re in the discussion table with the sponsor to see that OK this is what, the point they want to get across but we have a brand in a way of doing things with the Cowboys and that’s from the Joneses from the top. From Mr. Jones all the way down, Jones Anderson who’s in charge of our branding and we want to make sure they understand that. It’s a family run organization and the sponsors that we choose are very similar to our values. So when we come in that’s something that when I meet with their PR staff, which is really cool too with whoever it is for Dr. Pepper, no matter what it is. And they say, “Hey this is what we’re wanting to talk about, this is what our C.E.O. is want to talking with Jerry”. And being able to bring those two together whether we’re helping them define the run of the land or how we’re going to get that information out together. It’s cool because combining two major brands whether it’s the Dallas Cowboys or the Ford, it’s such a cool thing because you have a variety of different people that are coming together for the same thing and again that’s the power of sports and again that’s the neatness to be able to work with corporate people and corporate sponsorships through sports that you just don’t see in typical businesses.
We are the most profitable team in the world according to Forbes. They ranked us I think anywhere up to 4 billion dollars, 4.1 billion and that’s all due credit to Mr. Jones and his family. Initially bought the team for a 140 million dollars and turned it to a 4 billion dollars profit, so you can take that from there first and foremost. But I think it’s also the outreach in the fans. We just started tours here at The Star for fans to come in. I don’t know of any other team that allows them to come in inside the practice field, so let alone even their stadium which we do too. I mean that’s that. Success is how much can your fans touch and feel and experience the organization. I mean obviously you know you can’t lie, people are in sports, it’s a business to make money but I think in Jerry truly means this when he talks this, is the building is to get across to his fans. We’re known as America’s team because every stadium that we go to there’s fans of the Dallas Cowboys whether we’re in Cincinnati Ohio or Los Angeles California or Miami Florida or London. We went to London, we went to the United Kingdom in the same way and I think that’s the biggest way of that and the genius of the Joneses particular Mr. Jones.
And I think that’s how you define success isn’t so much about the wins and losses and even the money, it’s the amount of how irrelevant is your team, how much win or lose are people talking about the Cowboys. You turn on first take on or you turn on Fox for Southwest, you turn on anything and everybody knows the name, the brand Dallas Cowboys. I think that’s the strongest part of anything you do is how strong is your brand and I think that’s how you define success is, is the strength of your brand I think we have a very, very strong brand here with the Cowboys.
12:06 Brian: That was Joe Trahan and he is outstanding what he does for the Dallas Cowboys and we really appreciate you taking the time to talk with us Joe. If you want to see more about Joe and all the things that we talked about and we did talk a lot a lot more, we actually went into their media room and we put him behind the podium and quizzed him as if he was up there doing a broadcast right then and there and we took him out and we’re actually able to overlook the field, the practice field there in Frisco. So we got a lot more videos of things that Joe was talking about. If you’re a student and you want to know even more listen to some of the outtakes that we have because Joe talks specifically to students and what it takes to be into sports PR. There’s plenty more of what we talk to Joe about at KPIBanter.com. Please go there and spend some time there and look around. Thank you.
16:29 Michelle: So one of the segments that we’re going to have for you on our KPI Banter Show is the topic of the day. And today the topic of the day is Snapchat.
13:03 Brain: Although it’s not an ancient history.
13:06 Michelle: Apparently that it is one of the concerns about Snapchat. I personally love Snapchat. I know you don’t even though you never really even tried it and I tried to get you to download it. I understand but you’re not alone. I recently read an article that said Q one figures came out for a Snapchat now. Something along the lines of 1.8 billion dollars behind what they’re supposed to be in their projections. And so why? It’s got its innovative features, they do all these things. I know that they’ve had some concerns with Instagram and Whatsapp and some of these more established platforms kind of ripping off some of their features and taking it to their platforms but what else is it why is Snapchat not doing as well as it could be?
13:49 Brian: I think one of the more obvious things that they could have done, they seem to have skipped over was just trying to get the influencers in the social media markets to adopt the program and provide dedicated content to encourage their users, their fan base to go ahead and download and use for content and start creating content. They just didn’t engage in that way and so many of the other more successful social media platforms have done that.
14:16 Michelle: That they do a little bit of internal content creation but you’re right really stimulating that user generated content avenue where, like how Apple does a great job of it and they take you know, this photo is shot on an iPhone and now it’s a billboard in downtown Dallas. You know that type of user generated content is this huge and the influence again. But you know I follow Chelsea Handler or whoever else on Snapchat, it’s hilarious but she’s definitely not doing anything to boost Snapchat while she’s doing it, it’s just the pleasure of watching her hang out with her dogs and other weird things that she does.
14:51 Brian: Sure there are plenty of them. And I guess the comparison I would make is if you remember is it’s a HD DVD vs Blu Ray DVD, nobody really remembers HD anymore but there was actually a battle between the two and unfortunately Snapchat seems to be losing that battle with their competitors.
15:07 Michelle: They came out with all that and they were the first in the market to come out with all these really cool innovative features but then everyone else just said that I’ll take this one and this one and this one and picked it all apart.
15:14 Brain: Obviously is whoever gets out to the marketplace and convinces people to buy their service and unfortunately Snapchat seems to come up short.
15:23 Michelle: I’m rating for you Snapchat. But you guys let us know what, be sure to leave comments or questions or give us your feedback good and positive experiences with Snapchat. We definitely want to hear from you. So that’s it for today’s topic of the day.
Thank you for joining us. We hope you enjoyed our debut episode of The KPI Banter Show. Be sure to tune in for future episodes, we’ll have new stories as other things going on in our world more and if you have something you want us to talk about be sure to let us know.
15:52 Brain: Coming up is the Bell Helicopter interview, we also have The Deep Ellum Foundation and so much more. Keep on tuning in. Thank you.
15:59 Michelle: Bye.
16:05 Michelle: That was better.
16:07 Brain: That was better?
16:08 Michelle: Yep
16:08: Brain: Okay
16:09 Michelle: We are done.
16:10: Brain: Yeah.