Princeton’s Price is not the typical public relations man

By Addie Morton
Knoxville, Tenn.

Jerry Price’s desk is unkempt, cluttered with files, and his walls are covered in family photos. He leans back in his chair with a casual demeanor and rests his feet on the bottom drawer of his desk.

“I’d like to write a book about something at some point,” he muses, sitting in his Jadwin Gymnasium office.

If the book is an extension of his blog, “TigerBlog,” expect a candid conversation, voiced in the third person.

Price, the Senior Associate Director of Athletics and Athletic Communications at Princeton, is responsible for communicating news about Tiger athletics to the public. He often acts as an advocate for the program through blog posts, press releases, and social media—trying to get out positive stories about the university’s teams.

“If you’re relying on media to come cover your team, what are they going to focus on? ‘They lost again; they can’t score a goal,’” Price explained. “But if we’re going to do it, we can spin it any way we want.”

Price attended the University of Pennsylvania, and covered Princeton athletics for 11 years at The Times of Trenton and The Princeton Packet before beginning his career at Princeton in 1994. “The money was better [at Princeton] than at the paper,” he explains. “And I thought that Princeton would be a great place to work, a place I could see myself staying for a long time.”

“It’s a shame what happened to the newspaper business,” he says. “Because I might still be in it.”

His aim in his job is to focus on the positives of Princeton athletics. He certainly didn’t have to work too hard promoting the positive aspects of the women’s basketball team this season: Their 30-0 record spoke for itself.

Yet despite his aim of communicating positive news, Price is also willing to be blunt about of the state of Princeton athletics. He was candid about the struggles of the hockey team—he echoed a reporter’s suggestion and conceded that the team currently “stinks”—and when the Summer Journal asked him how Princeton’s football team would fare against the University of Alabama, he said that if “Alabama played their starters for four quarters, [the score] would be 200 to nothing.”

Such candor is unusual for a public relations man. Then again, Jerry Price isn’t your typical public relations man.

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