The stronger the individual, the stronger the organisation
For athletes at the highest levels of their sport, dealing with the media and public profile is a significant and important part of their livelihood.
How they handle themselves and present to the media can often have a direct impact on their career progression.
Therefore, it is staggering to consider how little training and education top athletes are given when it comes to presenting and dealing with the media in a way which reflects positively for them and their organisation.
And when media training is delivered it can often be about controlling a club message or producing bland, cliched responses rather than delivering the media outlet (and more importantly fans) with engaging, honest and consumable content.
South Break Media recently took players from Sydney’s national basketball league franchises, the Kings and Flames, through a media training as part of ongoing training, education and support the company will provide the players.
At the start of each session South Break Media CEO Julian O’Brien asked for a show of hands from the players who had received direct media training during their career.
“In both sessions, less than four players put up their hands,” O’Brien said.
“We train our athletes excessively and fanatically to improve their skills in their chosen sporting field to make them better.
“Without providing some dedicated education and support, how do we expect our athletes to perform better in an environment which promotes both them and the organisation they represent to fans, members, sponsors and the community?
“The stronger we can make the individuals in our organisation, the stronger the organisation.”
Having spent three decades in journalism and a large portion of that in sports journalism, O’Brien understands the difference and impact media training can make for an athlete or individual.
The introductory media training module covered a range of topics.
It took the athletes through an exercise to identify their personal brand and how to stay true to that when they present to the media or across social media.
It also took them through interview preparation and techniques, how to handle an interview, managing social media, recognising sponsors and mental health and the media. The athletes were then asked to complete a survey designed to identify their skills, passions and development opportunities which will form the basis for future training.
“What we’ve done with these athletes is designed ultimately to give them the skills they need in making themselves better and their organisation better,” O’Brien said.
“The media training module we offer through South Break Media is not only for athletes, but is totally translatable to any individual or organisation who has to deal with the media or needs to maintain a positive public profile.
“We can support it with development, coaching and ongoing support.”
If you would like to discuss media training for your organisation contact South Break Media.
Julian O’Brien, email: jobrien (at) southbreakmedia.group Phone: 0419 155 376
South Break Media is a national media and communications company based on the NSW South Coast.