PUBLISIDE is a press agent, media liaison and brand builder

Gail Sideman

Hi – my name is Gail and I’m a publicist. That means I’d much rather be writing about clients instead of myself.

I help people get known. Or get better known. Or kindly correct what others thought was true but isn’t. Some who come to me for an assist are already known for one thing and want to establish niches in other. Others want to prepare for or need to respond to crisis. Many want help to tell their stories to entertain, inform or educate. Some are athletes, sports media talent or authors; others are well-traveled presenters.

In a world with stats and facts, accurate ones matter. Stories behind the numbers are just as, if not more important. That’s where I come in. It’s more than a “transparency” thing. It’s a human thing.

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My best client is someone who understands that good publicity (or getting out from under bad) takes time. The cliché “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” applies. I appreciate the opportunity to build teams with people. It’s with their help and often those closest to them, that we present their most valuable messages.

Among the people I’m grateful to include on that roster: football analyst Charles Davis, NFL writer and book author, Mike Freeman and former Wisconsin governor and Alzheimer’s caregiver advocate, Marty Schreiber. Each was well known in their circles long before they knew me. Together we’ve shared new stories and allowed the public and media to get to know them away from their daily grinds.

In a world with stats and facts, accurate ones matter. Stories behind the numbers are just as, if not more important. That’s where I come in. It’s more than a “transparency” thing. It’s a human thing.

Media: Then and Now

While media is certainly different than it was when I started as a sports publicist 20-plus years ago, there are actually more ways for people to communicate, and people expect to access information 24/7. There’s a lot of competition for your message, so together, we work to make yours stick – today, tomorrow and long afterward.

In addition to working as a sports publicist (and a bit in sports TV support roles), I’m a sports fan. (Don’t dare turn the channel when I’m watching a game open!) It’s important that people in my industry see events from all angles, and there’s no truer way to observe an event than as a fan.

Getting to this point

I began working in publicity at the University of South Florida where while I learned a few things in class, most of my education was as a sports writer and columnist and sports information assistant. It was there while I worked and went to school, my earliest tutors included sports editors of the Tampa Tribune and St. Petersburg Times. I moved on to become the first “official sports” information intern at the University of Georgia. Like many in their early 20s, I appreciated the experience more after I was gone. I worked at UGA. For Claude Felton. One of the most brilliant sports information directors/associate athletics directors to walk the Earth.

The Metro Collegiate Athletic Conference followed where I helped represent a group of talented college athletics programs and personnel. Throughout those years, I earned awards for publication writing and design from CoSIDA, and maintain contact with many of those people who helped me then, today.

A Wisconsin native, I find spectacular joy in my role as AuntieGail. There’s no better ways to spend Sunday mornings in the fall than answering texts that ask for fantasy football advice. If they do it just to be nice, it works.

When I speak to groups, I emphasize that even in a world dominated by digital everything,  it’s important to learn to write well. And to write well, we all need to stop and listen better.

I will add one more: dream. I personally press on to find a sample of Tom Brady’s avocado ice cream. If you have some or know someone who can send it, hit me.