COMMUNICATION, MARKETING & MEDIA
Useful tips & advice for updating websites, social media & staying connected with members.
Staying connected with your existing membership network and growing this network is vital for any local footy club. In an increasingly technology dependent society, it is imperative for local footy clubs to also take advantage of current & emerging technology to build awareness about your club. Many clubs have been doing this very well for years. Here you find some guidance to help ensure you are on the right path. Check out this section to find some Position Descriptions for key roles that you should consider at your club.
Ideally, clubs will have each of the following roles filled within the club. Often, people will be daunted by putting their hand up to undertake a time consuming “Executive” or Committee role. Getting people however to undertake a specific task or role is easier and therefore appointing people to roles such as these listed below takes pressure off the remainder of the volunteers at the club. Having a Position Description for the role helps provides clarity for what is required.
Just undertaking a single task / role (compared to the more wide-ranging Committee role) is often referred to as ‘micro-volunteering’. This concept is covered under more detail within the volunteer recruitment section of this site (Link below).
Regular communication within your club (and to prospective club members) are vital to keep people aware of your club and the exciting things happening at your club.
A communication plan describes how you will communicate with various groups and stakeholders.
A communication plan is different to a marketing plan as marketing plans involves the strategic planning to promote a club and its products, while communication plans are part of how the marketing strategy is executed. It identifies:
- Who you are communicating to
- What you want to tell them
- How you are going to tell them
- Who is going to tell them
- When they are going to be told
A communication plan helps keep the communication team on the same page and your messaging consistent. The plan also allows you to measure whether you’re meeting your objectives so you can continually improve your communication strategy.
Check out this Communication Plan and Calendar Template to assist you in setting out your plan.
Club websites are very important as they can provide information for potential players, members and sponsors and can keep everyone up to date with the latest news and happenings of the club.
What should your website include?
First thing first, think about who your audience is and why they would come to your website. Reasons could include:
- Contact details
- How to register for the club
- Weekly match reports and results
- Details of the fixtures and next games
- Club policies, procedures and rules
- Volunteer and coaching opportunities
- Sponsors information
Once you have listed all the reasons, it will make is much easier to build out your website content. The Website Checklist can also help ensure you have all necessary information and website functionality.
Websites also provide a whole range of statistics that can make your club website better over time and improve audience engagement. Google Analytics is a great tool that can track:
- How many people visit your website
- What they do when they are on your website – how long visitors stay on your website and which pages they are visiting the most
- When people visit your site and where they are located geographically (this will prove it is not just people from your local community really interested in your club
- Where did they arrive on your website from – Whether it was through a search engine, social networks, a link from another website or your email newsletter.
- How users interact with your site’s content – You can see how many users clicked on a specific link.
Website analytics can also give you information about how much web traffic your site is referring to your sponsors websites. This very valuable information can then be used in servicing existing sponsors and for upcoming sponsorship proposals.
Website analytics can also help you ensure you aren’t spending significant amounts of time producing content if there is little traffic or audience seeing it.
Email newsletters are a form of email marketing and are a great communication tool for clubs by broadcasting information to the audience on a regular basis.
Email newsletters can:
- Drive traffic to your website
- Engage your audience
- Reach those who may not be on social media
- Are easily shareable
- Promote club activities
- Highlight player, volunteer and club achievements
Regular segments in club newsletters can include:
- Volunteer Spotlight – regular recognition of club volunteers
- Coaches Corner – match day run down or tips for players and parents
- President’s Address – run down on club happenings or up and coming events
- Player Profile – fun facts or profile on players in the club
- Sponsor Profile – spotlight a different sponsor each month with limited time offer
There are several free or cheap email newsletter software out there. A popular software package is Mailchimp that allows the user to easily create and save a template that is simply updated with the latest information and offers.
Using an email newsletter application like Mail Chimp will allow you to whip up email newsletters in next to no time.
The Spam Act 2003 (Cth) (‘the Spam Act’) governs email marketing in Australia, and the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) enforces these email marketing laws. The three main rules include:
- Unsubscribe option
Recipients must first have consented to receive emails before you can send them any email material. Consent can either be express (the recipient has deliberately opted-in to receiving emails) or inferred (there is reasonable expectation that they will receive emails after giving details to the club).
The recipient needs to be able to contact the club sending the email. Therefore, you should provide your email or website address in your communication.
You must provide the recipient of the newsletter the option to unsubscribe from the emails. You must also present the unsubscribe instructions in a clear manner.
If you receive a request to unsubscribe, you will have to honour that request within five business days. You can add an unsubscribe link at the bottom of your email or get the recipient to reply to the email saying that they wish to unsubscribe.
More information about The Spam Act visit the Australian Communications and Media Authority website.
Marketing is vital to any club. It is the key process of researching and promoting your services and offerings to your target market. It's important that you use marketing to promote your club, brand and offerings - whether it be junior, senior, Auskick, women’s, coaching or volunteering opportunities.
Marketing assets for player recruitment can be found on this page of the website.
Marketing assets for volunteer recruitment can be found this page of the website.
As social media continues to grow and evolve, this is a vital component for clubs to stay relevant in a modern world. That’s not to say that traditional media still doesn’t have a place when it comes to helping the profile of a footy club.
EMBRACE DIVERSITY TO ACHIEVE GROWTH
Practical help for clubs to support their efforts to better embrace diversity.
Regardless of where a club is located or how well the club feels that it is going on and off the field, those clubs who fully embrace diversity will be better set up for sustained success.
Clubs are the collection of the people who represent it and each local footy club is different, with unique histories, cultures, people, facilities and successes. The way in which the community views the club is largely based on how the club makes people feel. Do they feel proud to be connected to the club? Do they feel welcome? Supported? Encouraged to be involved?
Great clubs do this well regardless of the age, ability, background, skill, race and religion of each person. Not only do they welcome diversity, but they also actively embrace it. This leads to club growth through a range of outcomes: improved culture, more players, more volunteers, more funding, more sponsors and a feeling of making a difference within their community.
Fair Play is a four-part series that has been created to share ideas, case studies and resources to assist clubs and programs in creating safe and welcoming environments for people from all backgrounds.
You can find a list of some of the ideas from the series, here.
Government Sport Vouchers
Information on the $100-$200 vouchers to offset some costs for eligible juniors.
Participating in sport brings significant value to kids, their families & the wider community. Thankfully, State / Territory Governments across Australia recognise this. One such way they are directly supporting getting more kids active is through various “voucher” programs to help offset some participation costs.
The respective State / Territory Governments provide funding relief to offset some of the costs associated with participating in sport. Eligibility varies between each State / Territory; however, it typically applies to families with an eligible Health Care / Pensioner Card with a child 5-18 years old. Voucher values of $100-$200 are available. Click on the relevant link below to understand the full eligibility criteria & process. Parents would work through these simple steps to gain the benefits.
Step 1 – Apply for the voucher via the relevant government website
Step 2 – When approved, use the voucher code when registering via the link below.
|NSW||From 1 July 2023, a new “Active Kids” $50 voucher is available. Click here for more details.|
|NT||Sport Voucher Scheme: "Urban” 2 x $100. Requirement: Enrolled in school or home-schooled|
|QLD||"FairPlay” $150. Ages 5-17. Requirement: Services Australia Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card|
|SA||“Sports Vouchers” $100. Requirement: Enrolled in school (Reception to Year 9)|
|TAS||"Ticket to Play” 2x$100. Ages 5-18. Requirement: Listed on Services Australia Health Care or Pension Concession Card|
|VIC||"Kids Voucher” $200. Ages 0-18. Requirement: Named on Health Care or Pensioner Concession Card & Medicare Card|
|WA||"KidSport” $300. Ages: 5-18. Requirement: Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card|
A club’s ability to recruit new players is essential to club growth and sustainability.
Check out this 3-minute video with some great tips for player recruitment ideas.
In addition to some of the ideas presented in the video, your club would be aware that to achieve sustainable participation levels, you need to be (& be seen to be) a club that actively embraces a diverse participation base – gender, ability, age, background, cultural beliefs etc.
A big part of this community perception is that it is not only important that your club welcomes / encourages diverse participants, but also that your committee is reflective of the local community too. As a starting point you should look at your local community and assess which diverse groups are prominent. You should then assess opportunities to add to your committee so it embraces a wider range of backgrounds. This will help to generate more diverse thinking on topics. These roles could relate to a role(s) on the Committee &/or a specific community liaison role. This person can then be a connection point between your club and a local community and can open a significant market to help with player recruitment (& also retention).
Marketing Assets for Player Recruitment
Recruitment Social Media Tiles:
Recruitment Event Posters:
Program Promotional Materials:
Retention is a vital component when forming a strong and sustainable club. It will set the club up for future growth and success.
SET CLEAR CLUB VALUES AND EXPECTATIONS
Strong, clear and appropriate club values provide all members and sponsors with understanding of what is expected when they are representing the club. It also gives members comfort in the behaviour standards they will experience throughout their time at the club.
PROMOTE AN INCLUSIVE CLUB ENVIRONMENT
It is important that the club is welcoming and open to all, and reflects the local community. No one wants to feel like they don’t belong when they join a club. Consider things like:
- Advertising in different languages if the club is in a multicultural community
- Not serving alcohol on game days to be more family friendly
- Diversity in age, gender and culture on the club committee and volunteer workforce
- Program offerings to meet the needs of people with a disability and other considerations
ENGAGE QUALITY COACHES
The coach is vital to a player’s experience and the club’s culture. It is important to appoint the right coach to the right team.
It may be beneficial to appoint a selection panel who are responsible for the coach appointment process. When appointing coaches, consider the following points:
- Coaching accreditation requirements
- Ability to attain Working with Children Check
- Values, vision and expectations of both the club and the coach
- Communication and leadership style
- Ability to provide and receive feedback from the club committee
Even if there is only one applicant – the club should do the due diligence to ensure the coach meets the club’s needs. If there are gaps, consider potential measures like extra training or development opportunities to ensure the coach delivers a positive experience for the players.
Check out the Coaching section of the website for more information.
MAKE THE CLUB ABOUT MORE THAN JUST FOOTBALL
It’s not always the success on field that keeps players coming back! The club’s ability to provide social opportunities to harbour a strong comradery will ensure the players feel connected to the club. An enjoyable, safe, relevant and welcoming social scene can make a club more attractive and improve the club culture. Ideas include:
- Player dinner after training
- Charity events during the season
- Pre-season training camps
- Team outings during a bye round
- Off-season gatherings
- Club Busy-Bee days