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.
KEY ROLES - JOB DESCRIPTIONS
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.
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.
A marketing plan helps you promote products and services in your club that meet the needs of your target market.
A marketing plan sets out your club’s marketing strategy and activities. It links with your club’s business plan, which sets the overall direction for your club.
The marketing plan identifies:
- The aim and objectives of the marketing plan
- Details of how the club is described and perceived by its members and stakeholders
- Members and their needs. E.g. Auskick, juniors, seniors, masters
- Point of difference – what sets your club apart from others
- Club's strengths and weaknesses
- How the club will promote itself, activities or events? E.g. Regular local media coverage, paid advertising, activities with schools or other private/corporate sectors, word-of-mouth, brochures, etc.
- Cost and timelines for the implementation of actions.
A good marketing plan will ensure the club can market and position itself correctly within the community and continue to grow.
When marketing your club, it’s also very important to consider the following points:
- Brand: Is your club positive, supporting, family friendly etc?
- Tone: Is what you say done in a positive, optimistic, friendly way?
- Language: Is it professional, inclusive, respectful?
- Purpose: Does your message inform, engage, motivate your customers?
- Audience: Have your considered who you are marketing to e.g. current or prospect players? Kids, youth, adults, parents, volunteers?
Considering these points will ensure your marketing activities are effective and get the desired results.
There are many activities and ways to promote your club and engage current and prospective customers.
Here are a few ideas for different promotional activities and tips for your club.
- Contact your local newspaper to assess cost and size of advert, publication dates
- Ensure a clear call to action such as register now and include necessary information including email address, website
- Contact local radio station to assess cost, length and timing of advert
- Can it be a script read or do they want a generic radio advert?
- Ensure a clear call to action such as register now and include necessary information - especially website for more information
- Create a Facebook Advert from your Club’s Facebook page
- Ensure the content i.e. photo or video is emotive or showcases your local club
- Within Facebook you can identify target audience, set budget and placement of adverts
- Signage including vinyl banners, corflute signs, large window posters, car decals
- Ensure a clear call to action and consider placement in high traffic areas or at your local ground
- Consider promotion at a local business / shopping centre at the start of your registration period
- Create a club branded flyer or contact your local league for generic play.afl creative
- Identify places to distribute e.g local schools, letterbox drops, community centres, summer sports, workplaces
Advertising in schools:
- Speak to someone who is connected to local schools in your areas to find out what works and what is possible. Things might include:
- Distribute flyers or place on noticeboard or school bag app.
- School Newsletter adverts
- Promotional clinics
Phone call to participants:
- Club committee and coaches to call past players to encourage re-registration (or getting involved in a Past Players group)
- If not re-registering, ask why to ensure quality program delivery in the future.
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.
Social media is one of the best communication tools available to clubs. It is a great tool to promote your club, gain more members and reach new audiences.
It has the power to:
- Increase the size of the club’s audience
- Increase members’ sense of belonging with the club
- Create depth within these relationships
- Engage future participants
- Support the delivery of club objectives
Evolution of social media is fast paced. It is often hard to keep up with what platform would be best for clubs to use as it seems like an existing system becomes overridden by a new system every season or two. The priority platforms for the club will depend on why the club is looking to use social media – including the audience that you are looking to engage & connect with. Solutions that clubs are using effectively include Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok & more. This list will continue to evolve.
Every footy club will have someone within the club (a player, player’s family member or someone on the Committee) who understands all the platforms and would be happy to share their knowledge to help the club maximise their opportunities through social media. Ask around for someone to help the Committee:
- Review your current social media presence &
- Recommend the priorities to focus on – platform, how the club would use the platform, what the club will gain from establishing (or improving) it’s presence, frequency of activity and how long it would take to undertake these tasks.
Once the Club Committee has considered this recommendation, it will likely lead to the club considering the appointment of a Social Media Coordinator to oversee this important work. (See the templates provided earlier on this page for a link).
Some tips to consider for social media – including facebook, Instagram & twitter:
- Have a plan
Having a plan for each platform will help you remain focused on each post. Does this post / tweet align to what you set out to achieve? A “call to action” for messages is important e.g. “Click here to find out more” … or to buy early bird tickets to an upcoming function … or to simply vote for your favorite image from the weekend etc.
- Be aware of the risks
Not everyone will be respectful of others in the site and extreme examples could be viewed as cyber-bullying. Whilst stopping this before it becomes apparent is not always possible, it is important to take very seriously any breach of the club codes of conduct (7 generally acceptable community standards) when it comes to people’s use of your site. The club still has a duty of care to ensure that the club platform is not used as platform for cyber-bullying. If you are worried about an incident (or what more information generally) check out the resources via the Office of eSafety Commissioner.
- Get some great images
The profile needs an image promoting the best feature about your club (inclusive, full of people, fun etc.) Regular content needs great images too, so invest time in creating an asset library that you add to often.
- Get everyone to buy-in
Explain the importance of your players & the wider club network in getting involved in supporting social media activities. Perhaps run a competition for the most engaged player, supporter, committee member on your social media posts. Consider the use of facebook live when announcing weekly teams to bring more people (virtually) in to the club – so long as it doesn’t encourage people to stay away to just watch on-line).
- Use #Hashtags & tags
Hashtags help people find similar content to that message. e.g. You run a fortnightly Volunteer spotlight post and include #xzyfcvolunteer. People can click on the link to see past volunteers that have been recognised where that same # has been used. (Don’t include any gaps though!). Tagging people by adding the “@” symbol followed immediately by their name alerts them to the post and helps you reach a larger audience - especially if they comment, share, like your post. This is especially handy to tag people connected to your club who are well known & popular on that platform.
- Monitor & interact
If you put up a post/tweet, make sure you monitor any comments. Remove or report ones that will negatively impact your clubs if viewed by sponsors, members, families connected with the club. It is great to engage in positive / constructive comments & banter to encourage more people to engage in your future posts. It also helps to reach a wider audience when people engage.
Whilst social media will continue to take a greater focus moving forward, don’t forget to capitalise on traditional media – especially print & local radio.
Know who your local journalists are, meet them, understand what they are looking for and how they would like the information provided. Are there any ‘exclusive’ interviews that you can provide them - noting that you have the ability to then share the content via your social media / website too.
- Is there a regular local radio spot that promotes local sport / footy that your club could support (perhaps with an opportunity to recognise your key sponsors).
- Whilst print media will have an on-line presence, they will still have certain deadlines / requirements for physically printed local papers for local human interest stories.
- Consider taking out an ad for your club’s major event with clear details of how people can find out more information (for print media, perhaps include a free QR code with direct link to the right section of the website)
- Looking after local journalists will help you continue to enhance awareness about the club through to people who aren’t yet connected to the club. This pro-active approach will help to promote good stories and can assist in addressing bad news stories too.
- Understand that those who listen to local radio and read local printed papers are more likely to be older members of the community and therefore any ‘call to actions’ that you can want to include within these mediums take in to account the audience.