Clubs naturally want to let their communities know what they are doing, through stories in the local media and their own websites and social media accounts. But there’s also a practical benefit of getting a club’s story out into the wider world – it helps to attract four very important groups of people:
More spectators mean higher gate revenues and more people buying food and drinks in the clubhouse. And hopefully, some of those people will want to get involved in the life of their local club. But people will only come on match days, if they know about, and are excited about, what is on offer.
Clubs want to attract and retain new players. A high social media and press profile, and an up-to-date, informative website are a club’s shop window. And once they have joined, players like to see and read about themselves and want to feel proud of the clubs they represent.
Whether working on the pitch, in the clubhouse on match days, coaching the youth teams and in a numerous other roles, clubs can’t survive without that dedicated band of people who give up their time in return for the satisfaction of contributing to their community. To attract a new cohort of volunteers, clubs have to let people know who they are and how they can help.
Local businesses provide vital financial support for sports clubs. Sponsors gravitate to clubs that present an up-to-date, vibrant and engaging profile to the world, and that recognise sponsors’ contributions through social media and in the press. A club that provides little or no news or engaging stories will be invisible to potential backers.
But there’s a problem.
First, telling these compelling stories, in words and pictures, is a time-consuming affair requiring specific skills. Many clubs lack the necessary resources, and so remain largely invisible to their communities.
Secondly, the traditional outlet for clubs’ stories – the local media – is a shadow of its former self. Local newspapers used to do the clubs’ communications job for them by employing professional writers and photographers to produce reports and pictures, and then paying to print and distribute that content to the public.
But in recent years, local newspaper sales have declined by as much as 90 per cent. And anybody who has tried to read online content will know the frustration of battling with the endless pop-ups and advertisements that blight newspaper web pages.
What’s more, newspapers have fired the majority of their sports journalists and photographers; most ‘Cornish’ newspapers don’t have a single sports reporter based in the county, meaning that there is now very little in-depth coverage of local sport.
That’s where Cornwall Sports Media comes in.