THE promotion of our Gaelic games and culture is a key aim at the heart of any GAA Club.
In today’s busy world, people are presented with a varied range of activities to become involved with in their free time.
With this in mind, effective promotion skills and activities are crucial to any club competing to attract and retain members within its catchment area.
The first step to marketing and selling your club’s activities, values and ideas is to determine who your target audience is.
This can include existing club members, players and coaches, parents and families, potential sponsors and the wider community.
When your audience has been established, the next ingredient in any successful promotion plan is to create a strong club brand and decide on the message that you want to convey to the public.
More often than not, clubs will want to promote the reputation of the club, advertise upcoming events such as matches and club fundraising initiatives along with highlighting the GAA club as a central feature of the community.
Research & Planning
Now you have identified who your audience is and what message you want to get across, take the time to do your research. It is important that the club is open to finding out about:
Their perception of the club
What they think is good about it and how the think it could be improved
The effectiveness of existing marketing and communication
Areas where the club could improve its marketing and communication
How people feel that the club could better engage with existing members and non-members.
This information-gathering exercise can be used for the development of an overall marketing and communication strategy.
Who is responsible?
Clubs which are successful in terms of marketing and communication have a team of people who assume responsibility for promotional activity. Traditionally in GAA clubs the Public Relations Officer is responsible for leading the marketing and communication activities on behalf of the club.
However, given our expanding audiences, thirst for information and means of delivering this information or messages it is unlikely that one person can take full responsibility within a modern GAA club. Typically the PRO role will have an assistant and they will be supported by a marketing and communications working group.
In a previous life, the mainstay of club promotion, marketing and communications was the club notes and a few posters in the club house. However the wide range of marketing and communication methods available to clubs has increased dramatically over the last number of years and is likely to continue to do so. Hence it is important that clubs identify people with skills in areas such as digital/ social media and provide appropriate training and support. If your club has a website, appoint someone who has the required skillset with the task of updating it on a regular basis. A webpage or social media account last updated six months ago is a poor reflection of a vibrant, active club!
Many platforms are FREE but its good practice to set a budget for promotion and commu nication – think what will cost money and what is the most effective way to spend money!