SportsEvents Magazine

JUN 2018

SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.

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www.sportseventsmagazine.com June 2018 19 t GAME Plan Working with the Media: 5 T IPS FOR GREAT PUBLICITY BY MICHELLE RYAN "It is harder than ever today," said Janis Burke, CEO of the Harris County - Hous- ton Sports Authority. "People DVR their shows. The younger generation doesn't read newspapers. There is more noise and clutter that you need to break through if you are going to penetrate the marketplace." Despite these challenges, the basics – such as press releases – still work. But sports commissions and CVBs are refining their approaches to the media and pro- moting their events in creative ways to be successful. Regardless of market size, these are five tried-and-true tips, according to represen- tatives across the country, for getting great event publicity. Think Like a Journalist One of the best ways to cap- ture the media's attention is to get into its mindset. "The media will cover things that are newsworthy," Burke said. "Understand what is newsworthy and what is a waste of their time. They are on tight budgets with limited staff these days, so do some of the work for them and present them with intriguing behind-the-scenes photo ops or compelling storylines." Ally Dorrough, public relations coordi- nator for the Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission, said it's also helpful to know how your sources want to be contacted. "Identify the best way to communicate with media members, particularly those you work with on a regular basis," she said. "Many TV journalists prefer to text message since they are constantly out of the office, while print publication contacts may prefer email." Dorrough also suggested notifying media of nearby events that may allow them to cover yours and other stories in one trip to further maximize their time. Be Reliable and Accessible Strong relationships with the media are important. But more than just making con- nections, establish yourself as a reliable and accessible source. Leiann Stewart, group sales manager for the Miami County Visitors & Convention Bureau, recommended keeping your media list updated because consistent communi- cation is part of the relationship-building process. "When a relationship is developed, there is a trust and an understanding of the CVB and its impact on the community," she said. "The media begins to seek out information on the great work that we're doing and becomes our ambassador in generating excitement for our events." Keep the lines of communication open, whether you, as a sports commission or CVB, are contacting the media or the media is contacting you, said Tammy Dunn, sports development director for the Snohomish County Sports Commission. "Make photos and videos accessible," she said, "and highlight your online press room, don't hide it!" For Dorrough, it helps to have strong media relationships when needing a boost in interest for events. "Their inboxes are flooded with press releases and media alerts, so if you need to generate buzz ► Getting publicity for sports events is no longer as simple as sending out a press release, though sports commissions and CVBs still do. Changes in media consumption and leaner newsroom staffs are resulting in more targeted, more compelling and more creative event promotion, according to multiple sports commissions and CVBs. 1 2 An interview at the 2018 NCAA National Collegiate Beach Volleyball Championships in Gulf Shores, Ala. Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission

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