By Derek Smith, FNF Coaches Contributor
Every coach wants to get more recognition for his or her school, program and players.
The easiest way to accomplish this is to befriend the local media, and make yourself and your team accessible to them. Let’s remember, there is plenty of competition for coverage so you have to make it as easy as possible for the local media to cover your team.
The place to start is by creating a team media guide. It doesn’t need to be fancy, but it needs to be detailed and thorough.
What is a media guide?
A media guide is a document the media can reference for current and historical data about your team and school.
Who should create a media guide?
Every team, regardless of the level of participation, should create a media guide.
What type of content should the media guide contain?
The media guide is a printed document and it should include:
- Key contact info
- School historical results
- Details on last year’s records
- Returning starters and lettermen
- Mini bios on seniors and other returning players
- Quotes from you on the team – offense and defense
- Other notable, human-interest features
- Coaching staff
- Notable alumni section
- A media guide should NOT include contact information for the student-athletes (phone, email, home address)
Should I print a media guide?
Yes, but don’t get fancy with the final product other than to make sure it is factually correct. You can produce the guide as a Microsoft Word document and convert it to a PDF so it can be emailed and placed online. It can be black and white. Photos are not necessary. You can photocopy and staple it. You can keep it simple.
Who should receive a media guide?
Anyone you believe will benefit from the information should receive a media guide. The media guide, however, is only valuable if you get it into peoples’ hands. You should plan on providing it to the local media (television, radio and newspaper), your sponsors, parents, players and friends of the program.
Can I publish a media guide on my own?
The first edition is not a publication you should tackle on your own unless you have a lot of free time. You should find a parent(s) or an assistant coach that wants to tackle the project and serve as the editor. You should give him, her or them 4-6 months to complete the project. Some aspects of the guide can be done well in advance, while others such as the roster will not be available until the season is about to start.
The first media guide you create will be the most time consuming, but it will become a lot easier in year two and beyond. And trust us; you will see the benefits almost immediately.