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Advice from Ben Hook about media attention

Advice from Ben Hook about media attention

Australian media

Representatives from the State Coaching and Officiating Network (SCON) recently were treated to a bit of cricketing royalty when former South Australian cricketer and Bradman Medallist (1997/98) Ben Hook spoke at a networking and information meeting held at the Office for Recreation and Sport (ORS).

Ben’s talk, entitled Developing a Media Profile for Your Sport, focussed on:
  •     Understanding the media
  •     Understanding your athletes
  •     Targeting your media
  •     Social media
  •     Media dos and don’ts.
Ben's insight and expertise in the area comes from his many years as an elite athlete and as one of South Australia's best loved sports columnists. Ben regularly writes for the Sunday Mail and has worked with Channel Seven, FiveAA, ABC radio, Triple M and Messenger Newspapers.

More than 30 SCON representatives attended from a variety of sports including athletics, archery, golf, ice hockey, judo, netball, target shooting, softball, squash, tenpin bowling and weightlifting.

Ben acknowledged that many of these sports believe they are not getting the media attention they deserve or want but he said there were ways to change that.

Louise Alderson, Senior Project Officer of Coaching and Officiating for the ORS, said, "Ben was very open about what journos want. He told us that if we want to get a story in the media, it has to include more than just one impressive achievement or result."

The truth is the media likes something that tugs at our heartstrings or that is out of the ordinary. A first-place finish is great but a first-place finish in addition to a love story or a 'rags to riches' tale comes up trumps.

Ben also suggested that sports don't just approach journalists or the media with an idea. Rather, he recommends helping journos meet their obligations and limitations: come prepared with footage, facts and figures and photos. Even better, get the event schedules of the major sports that feature in the media because the media will already be there. Journos are always eager for a good story and if you make their job easier by limiting their travel and doing some of the legwork, your chance of getting exposure increases.

Other tips included making friends with journalists, knowing a specific media's deadlines and ensuring you have the right tools for the type of media you hope to obtain – that is, film for TV, audio for radio and photographs for print.

Ben's last bit of advice was to be persistent. All combined, you are sure to get results.

The ORS holds SCON meetings about three times a year at various locations and on various topics for the coaching and officiating development personnel from State Sporting Organisations. For details on the next SCON meeting, contact Louise Alderson (ORS) on 08 7424 7677.