Publicity

Publicity is one form of promotion. 

The important difference between publicity and other forms of promotion is that it is not paid for. It may appear in a story or editorial form in the print media and in the non-commercial portion of radio and television programs as community service announcements. 

Through the establishment of the publicity officer's position and a publicity committee your club can raise its public profile.

The main avenue to raise your club’s profile or the attention it is given, is by working with and through the media. Regular mention and publicity via the media helps to create and maintain an awareness of your activity.

Working with the media 

Important things to remember when working with the media are:

  • Know your subject
  • Believe in its appeal
  • Know your market
  • Be familiar with all media personnel
  • Always have a person from the club identified as the media liaison.
Media releases 

When producing a media release, follow these guidelines:

  1. Use the correct format, particularly in relation to names.
  2. The information must be topical.
  3. Present the news in short, snappy headlines with the main points of interest first.
  4. Use simple and easily understood language.
  5. Check the media deadlines.
  6. Ensure that the release is typed - double spaced.
  7. Provide photographs where applicable.
  8. Put the name of the club at the top of the release. The wording 'Media Release' needs  to also be prominently displayed.
  9. Supply the name, address and telephone number of a club person to contact for further information.
  10. Deliver the release personally or post directly to the relevant reporter.

The ideal media release should answer five questions concerning the event. It may be used before, during and after the event.

  • What is the event? What is going to happen?
  • Where did it happen?
  • Who did it happen to?
  • When did it happen?
  • Why did it happen?  
Newspapers 

Remember that newspapers are in the business of supplying news. For clubs the focus of news is publishing results, announcements of special achievements and the human interest story -  therefore it is much more advisable to target local papers. 

The newspaper is also an avenue for:

  • Advertising
  • Feature articles
  • Future competitions
  • Previews
  • Supplements
  • Results columns
  • Interviews
  • Photographs
  • Weekly draws
  • Reports
  • Articles

See if you can tie your story into a special events week such as running a feature on a senior in your club in Senior Week.

Radio 

Radio is an excellent avenue for on-the-spot immediate broadcasts. 

When speaking on the radio talk in the present tense, and make your most important point first. 

Radio reports are generally short and brief - you may only have a few minutes to make your point. Utilise community radio stations as they are often looking for newsworthy stories. 

Television 

Television is glamorous, demanding and expensive. 

It is also by far the hardest medium to pin down. It may be difficult to gain exposure through mainstream television so try and develop links with your community television station, especially if your league has a football show.

Contact the show to publicise events, milestones, etc.

Internet

The Internet is a powerful communication tool for clubs. It's cost effective, easy and can reach a wide audience. It can also be specific if you want to email people directly e.g. via your club database.

Most clubs have a regularly updated website. Publicise events on the website and direct people there for further information on club events and activities. 

It is also a good idea to include information on your website about the history of the club, how to become a member, fixtures, results, best players, goal kickers, club policies, sponsorship packages and contacts.

Promotion

Promotion is a major component of the marketing strategy. This is the process by which the service is brought to the attention of the 'market'. 

There are many forms of promotion, from purchasing material for visual displays to paying for advertising space in the local paper. But promotion is not just an advertising campaign; it is creating a positive general public awareness of your club and its activities. 

The promoter

Anyone who is willing to learn principles of marketing and has been provided with clear objectives and a target audience can undertake the promotion for their activities. 

If your club is serious about marketing itself, then it would be advisable to create a long term executive position for this sole purpose.

Promotion steps

The following steps can be followed to conduct a successful promotional campaign.

  1. Set your aim
    Have a clear idea of what you want to achieve through the campaign. This will help to plan activities to suit.

  2. Choose an appropriate activity
    Construct the right message for the target audience. This message must also be backed up by support information which tells the audience where and how they can get involved in your activities.

  3. Avenues of promotion
    Identify the promotion avenues and the channels that you will use to distribute your message such as posters, pamphlets, media, publicity balloons, fun days, street fairs, t-shirts, etc.

  4. Tone of your message
    Create in the presentation the 'tone' that is the most appropriate to your audience.
The following is an example using the promotion steps listed:

You are in charge of promotion at your Football Club. The club's main aim over the next two years is to increase its membership. You have been asked to organise a campaign which will help the club achieve this aim.

  1. Set your aim
    To recruit more players to the club.

  2. Choose an appropriate activity
    Hold a recreational football tournament during the summer (off season).  Make it a mixed tournament so it will attract players and friends.

  3. Avenues of promotion
    Target your local area - this is where most of your potential members are likely to come from. 

    Advertise in community newspapers or seek editorial space. Put notices on shopping mall notice boards, in sports shop windows. 

    Drop pamphlets at established touch football venues. Tempt and encourage people to enter the tournament. 

    Use incentives: promote it as a fun day, with prizes and barbecues to follow.  As you are trying to encourage family groups, why not hold a children's mini-tournament and/or offer child care for younger children.

  4. Tone of your message
    Use the fun tournament to show potential members that your club is a social, friendly club which encourages family groups. 

    Prepare a 'welcome pack' which you can give to entrants on tournament days advertising club facilities and philosophies. 

    Provide contact numbers for club officials, information about how to join and details of activities. 

    Accentuate the positive attributes of the club and the benefits of being a member. 

    Always test your ideas. Try them out on your friends, family and other club members initially. If you get a favourable response, test it further on a sample of the particular audience you are trying to reach.

  5. Note   
    Before starting your promotional campaign, be sure the structures are in place within your club to cope with the anticipated results. For example, if a large number of people suddenly apply for membership with your club, are you able to cope with this increase? Be prepared.
Other methods for promotion are:
  • Brochures, newsletters, annual reports
  • Professional journals and magazines
  • Public speaking
  • Displays and demonstrations
  • Public notice boards
  • Flyers
  • Mementos and photographs
  • Local radio
  • If you are fortunate enough, television
Go to Quality Club Program Assessment
Advertisement
2015 AFL National Coaching Conference
AFL 9s