PC: MLB Properties
A few months ago we talked about writing and sending press releases. Now we’re taking a look at a different kind of media interaction, the post-game media package.
Season has begun. You may have live streaming and photographers, maybe even a local blogger or podcaster is on site. At a minimum what you definitely have is an official scorer and that is really all you need to interact with the local and international sports media.
In the package
1) Game statistics: box scores
2) Game Notes: Just like you’d provide to on-site media at a tournament, game notes help the media recreate your game when they are unable to see the action live. Include special awards, records and incredible plays to help bring to life the pieces they’ll write.
3) 1-3 photos: Live action always work best. Only send stills when the framing is perfect and the moment warrants, such as an awards ceremony.
4) Video highlights: Show the most important and best plays in the game both at the plate and in the field.
As long as you can provide #1, you can also do #2. #3 is an option for any team with a photographer and #4 is possible when you have live streaming. You just need to record the game.
Sending the package
The full package will be sent to a contact at the local media. To learn who that contact should be call the publication or station and ask. Not everyone is in on the weekends. They may have a special weekend desk for sports. Otherwise, you’ll have to send it to the news department, which is always manned.
If you are sending it to a publication that covers your sport specifically, get a contact email. We welcome your packages at baseballEBM
for all your top level, adult teams.
Unless it is a sport-centric publication that covers your sport specifically, they may only want you to send the line score. Check with the publication first to ensure they want the full box score as well.
If you are reporting to a publication interested in your full game content then make sure to include a full box score from your official scorer. It is okay to send a preliminary box score, a box score that has not been certified as final, so long as you tell the media that is what they are receiving so they can make sure to follow-up on final scoring for decisions that may remain in question.
Include special plays by either team as well as a full box score and overall game plays. If there was a special event that took place, such as an award or broken record, include that as well as any ejections. The WBC did a really fantastic base job of providing these details so take a look at what they offered under Plays and Game Day for a frame of reference. From this data a reporter can write an entire story as if they were at the park.
Include Special Plays
If there was an unusual event or special play that happened, include a bit more detail so the reporter unfamiliar with the sport has a frame of reference. For example, if a no-hitter or perfect game is pitched, a non-sport specific reporter may not understand how special and rare an occurrence this can be. Give them a short explanation by saying something like, “first no-hitter in the history of the team” or “first perfect game since 1949 when Johannes Schmidt threw one during the final game of the championship series against the Blue Stockings”. Give the details that help them report facts they could otherwise have a difficult time finding.
If it is a player’s first something in the big league – first win, first homerun – report on that and give them a quote from the player to use that you’ve obtained following the game.
The photos you provide should be well framed. They should easily crop to a square format so horizontal is always better than vertical framing. They should also be relevant to the piece. If you have an MVP or Player of the Game, try to include an action shot of that player. If there was a record broken, definitely send along a photo.
If nothing extra important happened in a game, send one action shot of each team and that should be enough. Remember, they will report the full game whether the home team won or not so you need to include details helpful for the full report. If you lost but you only send shots of your team, that’s not a helpful situation to the reporter.
If you are live streaming your games we recommend recording them as well. As the game progresses have your stream team mark the time of a great play and note details.
When the game is over you’ll not only have a guide for cutting highlights but a game notes outline.
Your video doesn’t have to be professionally packaged. The local media has a team that can edit. Put together a group of highlights and leave room between the plays for them to cut as needed. Mark the footage as RAW when sending.
Obviously the less work for them the increased likelihood of coverage. It is really easy to cut video on Macs using iMovie. PC users will find dozens of free downloadable programs to do the same.
If you are not cutting perfect reel talk to the media contact first and see if this is helpful to them. There is no need to spend time if your content won’t be used.
Video does need to be horizontally framed so please do keep that in mind. The media will not be able to turn or otherwise utilize your video if it is sent with a vertical framing.
If your team produces a media guide that should be in the hands of your local sports stations as well as on the shelves here at baseballEBM. If this is a project you have yet to undertake, don’t worry. We’ll be walking you through one in a training day later in the year. For now, just start gathering your 2017 statistical data and, come fall, we’ll show you how to make your 2018 media guide.
Utilize Local Writers
The media, on the whole, is an industry that works in English. This helps to break down barriers of communication between boarders. If you have someone dedicated to blogging or podcasting for your team, chances are they are already fluent in English.
Ask them if they would be willing to help interpret during interviews with international press or provide game notes in English for the team. If they are already covering you, chances are they are creating these materials for their own coverage. Getting the opportunity to interact with the team as a media liaison is only going to enhance their reporting and professional opportunities so you may find them more willing than you anticipate.
For example, it could be that your local podcast gal gets the opportunity at the local newspaper to be the reporter for your team. This is good for the newspaper because they don’t have to get a reporter to go to work on the weekends but they still get the coverage. It is good for the podcaster because now she can make money from something she is already doing, and it is good for the team because it affords you the coverage to increase your visibility within the community.
That’s the media package. Plain. Simple. We’ll leave you to it with just one note. Remember, while you are interested in your own team the media needs both sides of the game to create a full story. Make sure to include visitor data to ensure coverage.