I had the privilege of taking a guided tour of Target Field yesterday in Minneapolis. This was my second visit to the new home of the Minnesota Twins and I could not be any more impressed with everything the stadium and the Twins organization has to offer. The tour was organized by members of PRSSA-St. Cloud State Chapter and was given by Chris Isles, corporate communications manager for the Twins.
The tour was amazing. Chris showed us around the entire stadium — telling plenty of interesting team facts and notes on the construction of the stadium along the way. Seeing some of the suites and season ticket holder areas was definitely impressive. The highlight of the tour was walking through the team clubhouse and stepping outside to view the snow-covered stadium at field level. We even took a look at the dugout before heading to the media room to learn about Chris and his role with the Twins. Kevin Smith, executive director of public affairs for the Twins, also joined us to share his stories and career highlights.
As much as I enjoyed the tour of America’s greatest modern ballpark, the Q&A session with Chris and Kevin was the main feature of our trip to Target Field. As with most PR professionals, Kevin and Chris both had very interesting stories on how they ended up getting to where they are today. The amount of work put in while working for a Major League Baseball team is unsurmountable — Chris mentioned writing about 10 news releases a year while working in health care compared to writing over 100 with the Twins. Chris also manages all social media efforts for the Twins as well as the many other odds and ends communications pros are known to handle.
I am not really much of a sports buff, but I have always wanted to work for a Major League Baseball team. I’ve been to home games for eight teams in 10 different stadiums now and every time go I get excited about the thought of what it would be like to work in that type of atmosphere and actually being a part of a team. Kevin had several stories about the little things he does as a public affairs executive that really showcased why he loves his job.
One example of going above the call of duty was when he was alerted of a little girl in attendance at a game who had just lost her father to cancer a few days prior. Sitting there with her uncle and mother, the family was looking rather solemn. Without hesitation, Kevin got a gift bag and a ball signed by Michael Cuddyer and headed to their seats. He presented them with the gift bag and told the girl that Michael Cuddyer wanted her to have the ball and let them know they were in good hands. He could see their solemn faces turn to tears joy and he quickly got out of there before he broke down too. Listening to Kevin tell this story, I could really feel how much he cares about and enjoys his job. I can only hope to find a place in the world that will give me the opportunity to touch someone’s life as Kevin has.