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MEDIA WEEKLY: Fan Engaging and Matchday Preparing

15 September 2016

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This week the focus is on trying to finding out what the fans are up to and then lifting the lid a little on the preparations in place ahead of Saturday's match with Northampton.

In case you're wondering, the photo on the article is Tom Anderson preparing for his mug shot/profile picture last week. You've got to get your hair right for these things, or they could haunt you for your career.

Fan Engagement

In the last week or so it's been great to meet and get involved with the Bridge Inn Blues and Richard Cotterill, the man behind the fantastic Badly Drawn Spireites portraits.

If you've not seen the results, then here are some places for you to click:

A YouTube video of our trip to Oldham with Paul, Kimberly and the rest of the Bridge in Blues Away Travel club.

Then, with the help of Richard, we were able to show the Badly Drawn Spireites portraits to members of the current first-team squad. Most of them were pretty impressed, though Reece Mitchell wasn't so sure about the rendering of his nose.

For a bit more background and information about Richard's rather magnificent project, click here and here, and if you even fancy donating a pound or two to Dementia UK, then click here as well.

We'd love to hear about any other fans doing anything else that the wider club could help with publicising, or just join in with any fun, so please get in touch and let us know what you're up to.

The best way to do that is by email, and the squiggly 'a' and letters and to tap in for that are:

Home Game Preparations

One of the good things about this job is that a bad result, which can and often does ruin a weekend, can be moved on from and put to one side within days as the next match quickly steams into view. Sadly, it works the other way as well with a cracking result slipping through the cracks when soon followed by a home defeat (see last season).

This week feels to me like one a couple of years when a run of three straight losses was curtailed by a fairly drab goal-less draw at home to Yeovil. Back to basics, a clean sheet and the Spireites set off on a further five games unbeaten. Fingers crossed for something similar this weekend, you've got to stay positive in football!

For us in the media department, the build-up starts long before Saturday, first and foremost with the programme. Nick's the editor which means the brunt of the organisations falls to him. Contributors are contacted, articles and photos from Tina are received a week or so before the game and then the work begins with the designer at O Publishing to bring it all together. 

The trick is to get the less time-sensitive articles (for example profiling the opposition, historical pieces) in the bag as soon as possible and have everything ready for the things that need to be done closer to the deadline, such as the manager and captain's comments. All this gets much harder when there is a midweek home game - and harder still when the midweek and the Saturday game are both at home and two programmes need to be made, as is happening later this month. Eeek!

On Thursday lunch time we have our press conference (or 'presser' in the trade), where Danny and a player will sit down and discuss what's been going on and what's hopefully to come. From here we tend to get a few stories that we publish on the website in the build-up to the game, as well as video content for PlayerHD and YouTube.

Friday can be a bit frantic with everything, again, needing to be drawn together. There are press applications to accept, a seating map of the press box to be prepared and passes to be made. Tina and I also work together to get the video screen content together and uploaded, which takes some time.

As well as that there are the previews and pre-match articles to write, edit and publish, with the trick very much to be to have everything ready and in place before Saturday to avoid to much worry and rushing pre-match. 

Issues always come up on Saturdays with things like the wifi being down, the concourse TVs or with pre-match presentations, so being ready with the things you can be ready with makes it possible to concentrate on what matchday has in store. Lunch gets sidelined on the more hectic days.

With the team sheets released just before 2pm and all the social media considerations starting to come together it's soon 3pm and for 90 minutes the football fully and wonderfully takes over (unless the wifi goes down again, aghhh!).

Before you know it, the final whistle's gone and it's time to start with all the post-match activities, which are much easier and more enjoyable after a win then a loss. Here's to ending that Northampton unbeaten run tomorrow!

Iain Pearce - Spireites Media Team

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