Thursday, November 4, 2010

Start Early to get a PA Announcing Opportunity

By Dennis O'Boyle

Due to the nature of the seasons and situations involving schools and tournaments already equipped with announcers, as we've been encouraging others here -- especially those new to announcing who wonder how to get a start -- when it comes to sports, seasons, state tournament times and other delights, our outreach to schools to offer our services of course comes well in advance of the events. For example, when lining up baseball season games to announce, start contacting the coaches and athletic directors NOW, or at least not later than the January-February timeframe. By getting involved early, you are truly partnering with them and helping to resolve an issue ahead of time that they are more than happy to scratch off their To Do list: • Get an annoucer -- DONE! For basketball announcing gigs, I start contacting schools early in September; right after Labor Day seems to be a good time. That way, before anyone is thinking about the basketball season, you can get in contact with coaches and athletic directors to offer your services and be the first one to do so, potentially guaranteeing success. Next, the state tournaments -- these have always been tough to crack -- the usual comments include but are not limited to the usual brush-offs: • "Umm... the schools themselves provide the announcers; usually the home announcer." • "Oh, we're just going to use the announcers we had last year." • "We're all set with announcers • "Our staff handles the tournament." • "We never heard of you." This is where you can offer to be a back-up announcer and also take the opportunity to help them pre-plan for the following year. In other words, if they're all set with an announcer, let them know in a kind and friendly way that you would like to be considered for next year. Then, follow through by contacting them every three or four months until you make it happen. Let your attitude be, "If it is to be, it is up to me!" Or, as another for instance, perhaps they know you from your work during the season when they came to your house for the game, "Oh, YAH! Tony! Everybody loves Tony. Tony Abruzzo, the great voice of Ramapo College -- AND the guy with the hair of a movie star! Yo, Tony, listen, paisan, we would LOVE to have you announce the conference tournament, capicci!?!" So, no matter what sport or season or tournament, game, or event, even the Super Bowl (R), start early, continue to maintain communication with the correct people, and when it comes to state tournament time, again, you have to do this EARLY, reach out to schools offering your services well in advance of them having a need -- that way, you will improve the chances of obtaining an opportunity to announce. --Dennis

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