The Baltimore Ravens public relations staff has been selected as the 2013 Pete Rozelle Award winners by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA).
The world champion Ravens, the 24th Rozelle Award winners, earned the award for the second time in the past three seasons as the department was also honored in 2011.
The Rozelle Award is given to the NFL club public relations staff that consistently strives for excellence in its dealings and relationships with the media. The award is named for Rozelle, NFL commissioner from 1960-89, who started his distinguished career in sports PR roles as a student at both Compton (Calif.) Junior College and the University of San Francisco. After two more years as USF’s assistant athletic director after graduation, he broke into the NFL as the PR director of the Los Angeles Rams from 1952-55. Rozelle used his PR principles as commissioner to build relationships with the media during a period of unprecedented growth and challenge for the league.
Baltimore’s PR department is led by Kevin Byrne (senior vice president of public and community relations), assisted by Chad Steele (director of media relations), Patrick Gleason (public/media relations manager), Tom Valente (public relations coordinator), Karen McGee (media services coordinator), Marisol Renner (publications and public relations specialist) along with PR interns Billy Jones and Allie LeClair.
“The Ravens are extremely professional and accommodating in helping reporters do their job,” said Aaron Wilson, Ravens beat writer for The Baltimore Sun. “They go out of their way to arrange interviews with players and coaches. They’re one of the best teams in the NFL at providing complete transcripts in a speedy manner during practices and home games, including transcripts from the Ravens’ opponents. The Ravens conducted an off-the-record breakfast for local reporters who regularly cover the team this offseason with head coach John Harbaugh and an off-the-record chalk talk with offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, defensive coordinator Dean Pees and special-teams coordinator/assistant head coach Jerry Rosburg. The seminars were well-received and provided good background information for the media. The session with the coordinators included a film session and a question-and-answer format. The sessions were intended to continue to foster a good rapport between the coaches and the media that regularly cover the team.”
ABOUT THE PFWA: The Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) is the official voice of pro football writers, promoting and fighting for access to NFL personnel to best serve the public. The PFWA is made up of accredited writers who cover the NFL and the 32 teams on a daily basis. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter, who covers the Atlanta Falcons, is the organization’s president for 2013-15. Follow the PFWA on Twitter at @PFWAwriters.
PETE ROZELLE AWARD WINNERS (to the club public relations department that consistently strives for excellence in its dealings and relationships with the media): 1990 – Denver Broncos; 1991 – Pittsburgh Steelers; 1992 – Seattle Seahawks; 1993 – Miami Dolphins; 1994 – Houston Oilers; 1995 – New York Giants; 1996 – Indianapolis Colts; 1997 – St. Louis Rams; 1998 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers; 1999 – Miami Dolphins; 2000 – Tennessee Titans; 2001 – New York Giants; 2002 – Philadelphia Eagles; 2003 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers; 2004 – Houston Texans; 2005 – Philadelphia Eagles; 2006 – Cincinnati Bengals; 2007 – Houston Texans; 2008 – Seattle Seahawks; 2009 – Arizona Cardinals; 2010 – Houston Texans; 2011 – Baltimore Ravens; 2012 – Houston Texans; 2013 – Baltimore Ravens.