• Loading stock data...
Wednesday, February 21, 2024
Register Now for Future of Sports: Cybersecurity

These Tweets Do Reflect Your Employer

This post is a part of our new partnership with Generation Y Digital! Check them out on Twitter at @genydig!

Armed with a laptop and a phone, Kris Koivisto is always ready to capture the moment as it happens. Photo Courtesy of GenYDig.

By: Kris Koivisto, @KrisKoivisto

I’m not sure where it started, but it caught on like wildfire. Twitter users have been including “these tweets do not reflect my employer” or “views are my own” or “RT are not endorsements” in their bios for several years as some sort of escape clause.

Boy, did they get some bad advice.

Unfortunately, the court of public opinion is much more likely to make judgment than a court of law. While your get-out-of-jail-free card may save you in any legal proceedings (jury’s still out on that one — no pun intended), it sure isn’t saving your reputation, job or personal brand. When I see one of those disclaimers in someone’s bio, I take it as a warning and think, ‘this person may fly off the rails at some point.’

Yes, you yourself are a brand. Especially if you’re active on social media. Your followers are making an opinion of your brand every time you hit send. Even those that don’t follow you are judging you. Every tweet, snap, and selfie reflects directly on you — and more importantly, your current/prospective employer. This extends beyond than social media, too. Just ask Britt McHenry. I once heard someone say, “if you wouldn’t print it on a t-shirt, don’t put it on social media.” I couldn’t agree more.


I cut my sports industry teeth in the PR world, which taught me invaluable lessons in judgement, decision-making, patience, trust and relationships. At the beginning of 2007, my final year of college was just a few months away and I had nothing but a couple of months at the Western Oregon Journal and an internship at the Statesmen-Journal under my belt. Since, unlike most of my friends, I opted not to participate in collegiate athletics, there was no excuse for such a thin resume. So I set up a meeting with the school advisor that was deemed, ‘the internship guy.’ I met him with high hopes and rose-colored glasses. A couple hours later I returned home where reality was ready to smack me in the face. The best (well, only) connection for an internship was a potential interview at a local spa company.

Enter: Teamwork Online.

After casting a wide net for a variety of internships with sports franchises through the popular sports job portal, my initial excitement and optimism began to fade when my inbox sat empty for several weeks. Eventually, working in sports world all but evaporated from my mind and I started to get real about the hot tub company.

On an overcast spring afternoon while my roommates were out of town on a road trip with the basketball team, I was checking my email on the porcelain throne when something caused me to do a double take. It was an email from the Portland Trail Blazers, asking if I’d be interested in joining their ‘Digital Street Team.’ Wait, what? I was having a hard time simply getting an interview with this small spa company, and my favorite sports team in the world is asking me if I want to work for them? My heart skipped a beat.

There were a few phone calls, some training and plenty of online research to complete, but my journey into the sports and entertainment world was underway.

Following the initial three-month digital internship, I transitioned into a sports communications internship where the next 15 months were spent driving between Monmouth and Portland and learning under an award-winning PR staff. Near the close of the 2007–08 season, to my surprise, a position opened up within the communications department. I figured after busting my butt for so long I’d be a shoe-in. Wrong. Way wrong. In fact, I had to beat out 200 applicants, go through six interviews and wait out a hiring freeze before I was finally offered a job as the communications coordinator.

Over the course of the next six NBA seasons there were several restructures within the company, causing me to report through communications, community relations and corporate communications. At one point I had a new boss every year for three consecutive years. I eventually found my stride around 2010 and was later promoted to corporate communications manager. Sustainability was becoming a trendy thing for sports teams and tree-hugging Portland was viewed as the model franchise across the sports industry. While it wasn’t my biggest interest, it quickly became my niche. While we were making national headlines, I found that social media, Twitter in particular, was not only supplementing our traditional media efforts, but outperforming it in some cases.

By the time 2012 rolled around there were some monumental changes taking place in Rip City. The headlines were taken up by the acquisitions of Neil Olshey, Terry Stotts and Damian Lillard. But what impacted my career the most were the moves on the business side. The organization had hired a senior vice president of communications to oversee our entire department, followed by the hiring of president and CEO Chris McGowan.

Generally, a PR executive would be hand-in-hand with a new CEO, introducing him to the inner workings of the franchise. However, since our PR executive was himself new to the organization, a lot of those “get to know the current culture of the Blazers” duties fell to me — and a working relationship with our CEO was formed. Among my unofficial duties in acting as a resource for our new CEO was helping grow his personal Twitter account — an opportunity that foreshadowed a new direction in my career.

Shortly after Damian Lillard’s 0.9 heroics in 2014, an open headcount became available in the digital department. After the new position’s job description rolled out, my name started floating around the company as a prime candidate. I’d always worked closely with the digital group, had pushed PR to become more progressive and had essentially maximized out my current role. Not unlike my experience six years prior, nothing was handed to me and I went through a formal interview process before a decision was made. Since accepting the position of managing editor of Trail Blazers content, a day hasn’t passed where I haven’t found an opportunity to grow through a challenge or found inspiration for a new idea or project. That’s easily my favorite part of my job and I’m extremely fortunate to be in this position.


Since graduating from college, I haven’t worked anywhere outside of the Trail Blazers. Some say that’s great; others say that’s dangerous. I say it is what it is. When I look back at all the people I’ve seen come and go, reflecting on my career, I can point to a few key items I’ve learned along the way.

Work hard when no one is looking. Do favors. Be selfless. Be available. Don’t compare yourself to other people, because nothing will ever be equal. You’re going to make mistakes — learn from them. Put yourself in another person’s shoes when making a decision. Work for the result, not the recognition. Be aware of the big picture. Take pride in your work.

Be mindful of these things until they become habits. Trust me, your personal brand will benefit from it. Then maybe you won’t feel the need to include a disclaimer in your bio, because you’ll just know better.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Twitter Moments for Everyone

This post is a part of our new partnership with Generation Y…

Life Lessons Learned On The Path to My Dream Job

This post is a part of our new partnership with Generation Y…

Knowing your Target Audience can Make or Break a Brand

This post is a part of our new partnership with Generation Y…

Big Town or Small, It’s a Really Tough Call

This post is a part of our new partnership with Generation Y…
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Deconstructing the A’s and Their Messy Move


Featured Today

Sabrina-Steph Wasn’t the ‘Battle of the Sexes’—But It Was Part of the Bigger War

The competition could play a factor in increasing the WNBA’s media value.
NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace (23), in a Star Wars rebel alliance X-wing fighter pilot-inspired race suit, motions to the crowd to get louder during the driver introductions for the Cup Series Championship race at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale on Nov. 5, 2023.
February 17, 2024

Celebrity Owners, International Ambitions, and $7B Media Deals: Welcome to the New NASCAR

NASCAR boldly keeps pace with the increasingly competitive sports and entertainment world.
February 16, 2024

Wilson Introduced an Airless Basketball for $2,500. We Had Questions

The black, 3D-printed ball appeared in last year’s Slam Dunk Contest.
Emily Henegar, a baker and content creator, made a batch of NFL-inspired cookies featuring Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce.
February 11, 2024

The ‘Life-Changing’ Economy of Taylor Swift’s NFL Outfits

Appearing in Swift’s game-day wardrobe has been “life-changing” for small businesses.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Finance Manager
New York, NY
Senior Technical Artist - Sports Technology
EA Sports
Orlando, FL
Assistant Manager, Affiliate Operations
Portland, OR

Temple Takes Your Sports Career to the Next Level

If you want to break through to the C-Suite , Temple University’s Executive Master of Science in Sport Business can help you up your game and accelerate your career. 

Networking With Purpose

Investing in the Ohio University PMSA unlocks access to one of the largest sports business alumni networks in the world.

University of San Francisco Is Your Ticket to the Game

Rated the No. 1 Sports Management program in California, USF has been a leader in educating industry professionals for more than 30 years.

Live Sports Are Now High-Tech Experiences

Oracle is leading the technology revolution happening in stadiums across the world.

UMass, McCormack Department of Sport Management Introduce Groundbreaking Women in Business Course

UMass’s Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management has announced the addition of a Women in Business course launching Spring 2021.

Sacred Heart University Gives Athletes and Students Hands-On Learning Opportunities

Professor Matthew F. Moran is training the industry’s next generation of exercise scientists at Sacred Heart University.

Ohio University PMSA Prepares Sports Professionals For New Normal

Two alumni of the Ohio University Professional Master of Sports Administration explain how they feel prepared for the future of sports.

Temple’s Sports Business Master’s Program Gives a Sports Media Pro Unique Perspective

Temple’s School of Sport, Tourism & Hospitality Management gave Sean Hanrahan the tools to elevate his career even after 30 years in the business.