By: Domenic Kershner
Photo Credit: linkedin.com
New to Niagara County Community College in 2023, Professor O’Mahony is excited to share his wealth of knowledge from his extensive career in public relations of more than 20 years. His interest in public relations, writing, and journalism started in college. Throughout his career, he worked in several different sectors of public relations, from professional sports to corporate, local government, higher education, agency, and even non-profit.
While attending college, he landed an incredible job working in the NBA for the Chicago Bulls as a part of their public relations department. He stated, “It was a great experience as we provided information and interviews to the sports media outlets.” It had been a dream start to his career to do public relations for the Chicago Bulls and Seattle SuperSonics. The sports industry was fast-paced and constant news dealing with players, coaches, and media. He enjoyed going to the games but found that the work came with long nights and weekends, which consumed his life for a few years. However, he found great satisfaction in following the team’s journey with each season, producing story ideas for the local media, and getting familiar with players, coaches, and national media. The longer he worked in the sports industry, the more he realized he wanted to change or a new challenge. He explained, “I wouldn’t say I wanted to change professions, but I did merge more into marketing and advertising over the years, as those functions became part of my positions.” Even though he had much love for his work in the NBA, he realized that there were plenty more opportunities out there for him in the public relations field.
. He had learned a significant amount in all the public relations sectors he worked in. He found his favorite sectors were more in local government and non-profit, as he found it was the most rewarding. He felt he brought a deep purpose and passion for helping elevate those organizations’ PR success. Many of the management of the organizations he was employed with throughout his career valued the role public relations played in the company’s continued success and positive image. When asked about his favorite part of public relations, he said, “The best part for me is producing stories and showcasing an organization’s brand in the media and the public eye.” He went on to say, “The positive awareness helps organizations grow and attract new employees and customers.” Public relations can be a great field with many opportunities, but it can come to bring long nights, extra hours, meeting harsh deadlines, or resolving PR issues. These are not negative aspects, just more preparation for what to expect from the demands of this field. Working on your writing skills is very important and a foundation for PR. The industry is ever-growing and requires individuals to be more versatile nowadays.
Once his career grew to a certain level, the change he felt he needed to make was to return home to Western New York, which he did 10 years ago. While speaking to students and young professionals in the Phoenix and Buffalo area, he found it very rewarding to share his industry insights. This became a new goal in teaching a class on public relations, which led him to NCCC. Each week so far at NCCC, he has found that his favorite part of being a professor has been being able to discuss different topics and current situations in the PR field. In class, he is enthusiastic, knowledgeable, always willing to help, and willing to make the extra effort for his students. His experience in the public relations field is a great tool to help prepare his students for the real world of PR.