Media Relations

Publicity in the ‘traditional’ media outlets, newspaper, radio, TV, can play a major role in the promotion of Sports Development and club activity.  To make best use of these outlets it is important to have a basic understanding of how they operate and how your material should be presented if it is to have a good chance of being used.

Most media promotion by clubs is done through the local written press and below is a few guidelines to dealing with local newspapers. The Otters have a ‘Press Officer’ within the swimming club, however, this is a challenging task and should be shared by other Members, not least to share ideas and contribute to productions.  Variety is important.

A Basic Guide……..

General Rules for Writing Press Releases

  • Should be typed on A4 paper and double-spaced to allow room for editing.  Head it ‘Press Release’.  Put a date at the top and also mark ‘For immediate release’ if this is the case.
  • Carefully plan your report.  Make sure you are thinking of the reader and what they would find interesting to read.
  •  Use factual headlines rather than spending time thinking of something witty – the local paper will probably decide their own headline anyway.
  • The most important information should be in the first paragraph in order to attract the attention of the journalist or Sport Editor.
  • Different reports will offer different information, but make sure you include the name of the club, where you train/compete, so that people can always find out extra information.
  • Type ‘ENDS’ at the end of the release and add an ‘EDITORS NOTE’ at the bottom consisting of a contact name and number if the journalist requires more information or an invite to the event.

Writing Competition Reports

  • When writing reports on competitions, do not just list rows of results, this may be a little boring for the reader.
  • Try to catch the reader’s imagination and create a short story of the highlights and then use a result summary if needed.
  • Remember to think of what the average reader within or outside the Sport will find interesting.
  • Request a newspapers photographer to take some photographs to include with a report, “A picture tells a thousand words”, and adds more to a report.
  • If sending a photograph, make sure it is black and white, caption each one and give the name of the photographer or agency
  • Generally look at some of the sports reports from National Newspapers on different sports and try emulating them.
  • Make reports interesting!

Writing Promotional Press Releases

  • Introduce the name of our club and identify age-groups and abilities
  • Say where, what dates and what times a club trains so that people can access more information.
  • Give some brief details of the club including number of members and qualifications of coaches etc.
  • Mention some of the most notable achievements of the club i.e. team and individual success, etc.

Dealing with Local Radio and Television

Very rarely will we be been given the opportunity to be promoted on local radio or television.  Television or Radio stations will be crying out for new features and be willing to send a reporter or crew to feature your event, so all avenues of promotion should be approached.  ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get’ – give it a try, the worst a radio or television station could say is no!

What to do 

  • Call or write to the relevant radio or TV station
  • Explain what the club has achieved, is aiming for or has been awarded etc
  • Promote Swim 21 as being part of ASA National Club Development programme – promote the benefits of the scheme i.e. what it does for the community.
  • Ask whether the station would like to report and feature it
  • Take it from there

For further information on training available, the ASA supports Sports England’s Running Sport training programme.  The following courses may be of assistance to you.

Marketing and Raising Funds

Raising Money                                                 Smart Marketing                                                     Finding the Funds
Methods of Communication

The following are some suggested methods that can be used to communicate with members and other interested parties:

  • Newsletters can include general items of information:
  • Progress on Swim21 process – where are we now
  • Club sessions times and venues
  • Results and reports of recent galas
  • Extracts from club competition programme
  • Extracts from club social programme
  • Pen pictures of club personalities (It must be ensured that news letters do not breach the Data Protection Act and ASA Child Protection Procedures by identifying people or children where consent has not been obtained or it is not appropriate where persons are under the age of eighteen years)
  • Situations vacant and outline job descriptions
  • County/District information/events
  • Flyers for the notice board for forthcoming events


  • Display newspaper articles about the club on notice board


  • Committee minutes displayed on club notice board


  • Meetings between club officials and members to explain policy – policy statements


  • Web site addresses for swimming information – including your own if available