Top 10 Tips for Delivering Media Coverage for your Sport
Over the last 12 months, I have delivered a number of workshops for National Governing Bodies in conjunction with the Sport Ireland organisational capabilities team. The workshops focus on how to Maximize Media Coverage for your Sport. The bringing together of people from different sporting bodies and differing communication roles, always results in great discussions and learnings. It’s a day that I really enjoy and I always come away with new insights. So here is my no nonsense (and relatively jargon free) top 10 tips on how to get coverage when you hold a media day.
- What’s the story? Ask yourself is the story newsworthy. Is there anything “new” in my story? Is there anything unusual or unexpected about it?
- Who cares? Would this be of interest to anyone outside of the community of my sport? If they answer is no then focus your efforts on communicating effectively internally, to your own community on your own communications channels.
- Guess who’s talking? Getting the right spokesperson or ambassador is key, they are your hook for the media. But you also need to consider; will they help you deliver positive coverage? Are they aligned to your messages/values? What will the headline /editorial content focus on and will that help you achieve your communications objectives?
- Blind date A key question is what date to hold the media event and will it work for the media? If you are a challenger sport, this is particularly important. There is no point going head to head with the sports that dominate the media landscape. Give yourself the best chance of success by picking a quieter time when sports editors are more likely to give journalist the go ahead to attend your media day!
- Get hustling…. So, once you know your story, know who your spokesperson will be and the date/location for the media interviews, issue the media notice. If you are passive at this stage all your hard work could go to waste, so pick up the phone and follow up with those you have reached out to.
- The media release If your first sentence doesn’t grab them, they may not read any further. The opening paragraph should cover the who/what/why/when/how. Tailor your media release according to the publication you are targeting. SportsJOE.ie has a very different editorial style to the Irish Times so adapt your release and messages to their tone of voice.
- Picture this! Visuals are a great way to sell your sport, please be creative here, even with limited budgets you can get results. But remember, handshakes = snore fest, keep them for your owned channels (to keep the CEO happy!) but let the media have the eye-catching ones.
- The devil is in the detail Having a detailed running order for the day with clear responsibilities for the team outlined will ensure that you keep to timings and keep all the stakeholders happy.
- And then hustle some more! Call the pictures desk to ensure they got the images. Reach out to journalists that attended to day thanks and to ensure they have everything they need.
- Don’t look back in anger We have all been there…that anticipation of the media coverage and it just doesn’t match our plan or reflect all the hard work you put in. It’s important not to get frustrated, this is the key time to reflect, review and learn, as Conor McGregor says: I never lose. I either win or I learn.