With your press credentials in order and a scheduled event to attend, you finally feel confident enough to charge down to the sports field to prove to yourself and to the new magazine that enlisted your services so that you can succeed in this field. Before you attend the event, however, be sure to prepare. Know who to contact, when to contact them, how to contact them, what to ask, and where to go. Always ask for press guidelines. If not available, make your own checklist.
In all situations you would want to ask the following questions before attending the event:
1. What time should I arrive in order to get to the press area and set up my equipment?
2. Are there limitations to the size and amount of equipment I can bring along?
3. Am I allowed to bring an assistant, and if so, will my assistant also need a press pass?
4. How much freedom will I have to move around the stadium or arena to get the shots I need for publication?
5. Are there any areas I should avoid in order to avoid interfering with the staff or players?
Once you find out all of the above details, use these five quick strategies to help ease your way into the situation:
DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Make sure that you obtain and carry the proper credentials. Have your press credentials in order: press cards, verification codes, assignment letters, name and telephone number of your editor, names of all publications you represent, etc.
Know how to use your credentials and how not to use them. Practicing on smaller events will prepare you for the major ones. Do not use your passes and I.D. unless you are actually covering the event.
Be courteous, friendly, and businesslike. This may accomplish more in the long run than any other suggestion.
Be considerate of the Press Official. Like the photographers, he has a difficult job to do.
Be responsible by upholding the ethics of the Press.
Represent yourself and your editor well.
Professionalism and confidence are the keys to your success. If you have the right credentials and are fully prepared to cover an event, your attitude will reveal that confidence.