Look up whilst on the ball: Where to score big in sport PR


Like a hard-fought extra time battle in the knock-out stages of a hotly contested international tournament, it has been emotional. But, all good things must come to an end, and as such today sounds the final whistle for our series on public relations success in the world of athletes, medals and cups.
As an agency that has serviced the likes of Manchester United Soccer Schools and Mountain Hardwear, we’ve spent innumerable hours scouring here, there and everywhere in search of the ideal publications, online and in print, to approach for client coverage. And there’s a lot of them out there, in every discipline from angling to abseiling, zorbing to zumba.
Just like when we published our post in June, (Some of) the best food publications in Britain, there are a few obvious titles that you can’t ignore if you’re working a sport PR campaign. For print and online that would be the national big guns- the MailSun (paywall or not), TelegraphIndependentTimes, and their Sunday variants, along with the Guardian and Observer, of course. And then there are the major regionals (MENEvening Standard et al), and specialist outlets dominating their respective sports.
In football terms then, think Four Four Two. If teeing off is more your business then Today’s Golfer is the key one to pitch for, along with the more guide-focused Golf Monthly. Meanwhile, cricket’s best hit might be ESPNCricinfo.co.uk, which claims a readership in the millions according to our sources.
This is revealing nothing a quick scout around WH Smiths wouldn’t, though. And similarly, by explaining that searching via Google for publications in your exact area of expertise- for example golf travel- is a sure fire winner when starting out compiling any media list, we risk stating the obvious.
Perhaps then it’s more useful to discuss how to achieve a more comprehensive level of coverage. By taking a holistic approach, i.e. shortlisting both niche and sport-specific titles along with a range of mainstream publications, lifestyle platforms, and outside chances, the potential for vast exposure becomes all the more real.
In order to get great results it’s vital to immerse yourself in the media as a whole. Niche online and printed outlets cover specific subjects, and even then many have a more open editorial stance than first impressions, taglines and titles may let on. Irrespective, though, the point is there’s an abundance of options that may not immediately spring to mind, but that could work for your campaign. Not least if you spend time coming up with news angles to increase the ways in which the story can be reported- whether that’s a product launch or public event.
By developing an exhaustive resource containing everything from the titles that may be remotely interested in what you have to say to those that would naturally express an interest anyway, the audience that could potentially pick up on your message grows significantly. The opportunities to see your brand increase exponentially as the number of truly influential and widely read publications (online and in print) servicing niche areas is rapidly in decline. This means in some areas there will be only one or two majors left to pitch for, so getting bountiful column inches in multiple best-selling outlets means broadening horizons.