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SPORT MEDIA HYPES: How to Function As An Effective Media Officer Of A Football Club

This is the way it works. Sport media outfits are always looking for information that can help them report stories that are attractive to their audience. Unfortunately, sometimes, they make up the story if they could not get reliable information from anywhere. This is called media hyping. It is unfortunate because the media help form public opinion in our society and you cannot under-estimate the effects. Public opinion is one of the most powerful force that can promote or destroy the brand image of any football club. Now, if the club you represent have not had crisis before, then you may likely take for granted some aspects of your job function as a media officer.

You should understand this; the most vital function of the media officer is not to pass on information, but to foster relationship with the local, national and international media (both print and electronic) to enhance the brand image of the club. China Acheru, media officer of Dolphin FC said, "The job designation is actually media relations officer. And media relations are designed to formulate and shape favorable opinion via mass media."

First, the media officer is responsible for all club publications - including Press releases, media guides, publicity, schedule cards, promotional posters and flayers.

The media officer keeps game and seasonal statistics as well as maintains all time records of the club. And make them available to the press from time to time as when requested.

The most important function of the media officer is to build and maintain a strong relationship with the media. He serves as the liaison between the club and the media. In fact, he is the spokes person and is expected to generate as much positive publicity for the club.

It is the responsibility of the media officer to diffuse potentially damaging situation or matters concerning the club that could attract media interest; and hopefully play a role in controlling or solving the crisis.

In some cases, the media officer also assist in providing media training classes or clinics to help prepare coaches, players or any other member of staff for media spotlight or appearances.



Three Ways A Media Officer Can Be Effective On His Job

1. Proactive Media Relations Approach: The media officer should initiate promotional information and make them available to the press. For instance, a club could choose to contact media outfits with possible stories. He could distribute packages of players bios, media guides or video clips and club documentaries to select media outlets without having been requested to do so. This kind of approach ensure a club get regular media spotlights.

2. Reactive Media Relations Approach: The media officer should always respond to inquiries and guide club personnel to respond to questions, queries and requests from the media and other interest parties. In a football setting, such requests may concern player interviews, appearances, autographs, photographs, biographies... The request may also relate to queries about club policy. The media officer should prepare to use such occasions to portray the club and it's personnel in a positive light.

3. Interactive Media Relations Approach: This approach involves developing mutually beneficial relationships with media. As the media officer assist the press in a variety of ways, it has reciprocal effects. This is a relationship marketing approach aimed at building a lasting, long term relationships with the media. With this kind of relationships, either the media or the club can initiate requests or activity knowing that the other will cooperate fully because doing so is in the best interest of both parties.

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