TODAY’S non-league club has many options when communicating with its supporters, its sponsors and the greater community. Things have changed substantially since the days when the local newspaper and the match programme were the only outlets. But the new paradigm delivers many more opportunities for the small non-league club. Here’s some ideas based on 20 years’ experience as a non-league press officer and a corporate communications professional. This was first published as a “white paper” under Game of the People Insights.Plenty of atmospheric noise
Non-League football clubs are competing on many fronts for attention: rival football clubs; other sporting entities; social news; the political correctness agenda; and marketing-driven content. Given the current structure of local newspapers, much depends on how a club “spoon-feeds” the local media. The days of the local reporter attending football matches are largely gone. Devoting resources to an entity that may only attract 200-300 people is impractical for many newspaper groups. So, a non-league club has to be forward thinking about the way it conducts its media efforts. For a start, a club should examine what is NEEDED and what is NICE TO HAVE. It must also ensure scarce financial resources are directed in the best possible way. For example, is it worth spending cash on something where there is not a need? While everyone wants to think of their club as Real Madrid, if West Ham & Egg Sandwich Albion attracts only 50 people, the need for a sophisticated website and social media campaign is unwarranted when all you really need is to slap some posters around town to drum up support every fortnight.
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