By Matt Lindner
2:17 PM CDT, September 18, 2013
He's got a seat with one of the best views in all of sports in the Wrigley Field press box, but on a Cubs game day you'll almost never find the team's communications manager Kevin Saghy in it.
"I love the view from the press box, but it can be hard to engage as we would want to if we sat up here for all nine innings," he said.
Saghy, who along with colleague Mary Reisert serves as the voice behind the team's @cubs Twitter feed, prefers to spend his days at the ballpark using the account to connect with fans on a personal level.
"I think people are just thrilled to peak behind the curtain a little bit and find out who's doing [the tweeting]," he said. "When people go home bragging to their friends that the team came out and said hello and dropped off a gift, that spreads. We've seen our followers pick up as a result of that."
It's an approach that has certainly helped the team's cause.
@cubs currently boasts just over 278,000 followers, putting them far behind the Bears (355,000) and Blackhawks (435,000) but nearly double that of the crosstown rival White Sox (156,000).
The team's social media strategy is simple—engage without stirring the pot too much.
"There's some topics that it's best left for our fans to discuss," he said. "Rumors, controversial calls, that's something our fans can discuss but we can't really participate in. We reply to everything that we can."
Perhaps their most memorable connection was with WWE wrestler CM Punk two years ago, when the team asked him to sing the seventh-inning stretch in 140 characters or less.
"With CM Punk, he's very transparent about being a Cubs fan," Saghy said. "Reaching out to him on social media was a very visible invite. A lot of his fans came out to the game to support him. It was great for him and it was great for us too."
But Twitter's not all fun and games, as the team learned in June when minor league infielder Ian Stewart took to the platform to vent his frustrations about the organization.
"With any sensitive topic, we're certainly monitoring for those types of things and sharing with the folks in the organization that need to know," he said. "With social media and player involvement, you have access to a player that you didn't have before and you're gonna get their real personality. That's a great benefit of social media but it can be a downside too if they make a mistake, and we all make mistakes."
Saghy said while the Cubs' PR department can give players a road map for social media success, players are free to manage their own brands on the Internet.
"At the end of the day, we don't control our players' handles," he said. "We can do our best to counsel and they have to follow MLB's guidelines. Throughout the season we can talk with them if we see something that's concerning."
While the team's account is fairly gregarious on social media, Saghy himself is anything but.
The unassuming, soft-spoken 28-year-old Lakeview resident has oinly about 1,600 followers on his personal account (@crediblekev) and doesn't mention his employment with the Cubs in his bio.
The wizard behind the curtain of the Cubs' official Twitter feed isn't a name you recognize, and Saghy says he'd rather keep it that way.
"I love what I do and I'm not in it for credit or fame," he said. "I get to do something really cool but I get to do it behind that team account."
Matt Lindner is a RedEye special contributor.Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye Sports' Facebook page.
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