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Digital Crayon

Digital Crayon – Women’s Sport and the Media

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I did a search of the most searched female athletes in the world – I found something not so hard to believe.

The list of the top 50 most searched women athletes is populated by athletes who 1) make a lot of money and 2) play their sport in very skimpy get-ups. So I guess you can imagine that there are more tennis players on that list than any other sport.

The list includes, Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams (who tops the list), Ana Ivanovic, Venus Williams, Anna Kournikova and Caroline Wozniacki. Tennis of course is one of the most exciting women’s sports hands down, but it does help that the athletes dress ‘appropriately’ for their audience.

Sexist? Maybe, but don’t blame me, tell that to the millions of people who created the statistic.

But how do you get your sport recognized by the press if you don’t fit the description of a ‘bikini wearing babe?’ it is not easy and you will probably not accomplish 25 million searches in just one year, but some press is better than none right?

The first thing you should understand is the nature of the sports room – it is most likely populated by testosterone driven guys who would prefer to have that popular beat that gets the other guy all the attention. There are very few women who write sports.

And even if your sport fits the ‘bikini wearing babe’ description, they will still not be entirely inclined to follow a woman unless she is in fact HUGE news like Serena. It is simply a very sad fact. There are those who will, but the majority will not.

So what do you do? Here are a few tips from my own experience:

  1. Bring the news to the press – If they won’t come get it, carry it to them. Reporters actually have no problem with you doing their job for them, so get the details, even if you can’t write – scores will do, take your own photos, identify your star players.
  1. Identify a reporter who seems the least bit interested and befriend them. Put them on your mail list and ensure that they ALWAYS know what is happening in your sport. Show that reporter some love, food will help, as well as press releases that make their lives easier.
  1. ORGANIZE BETTER – This is one of the MAJOR flaws with most women’s sports – they are very badly organized. You CANNOT send a newsroom information 3-7 days after the event has occurred, by then it is old news and no media house likes carrying old news. Some will use it, but only if they are desperate to fill pages. It also looks bad on you when reports appear more than a week after they happened.
  1. ORGANIZE BETTER (this is not a typo, it simply needs greater emphasis) – If you meet a reporter like me, DO NOT send me hand written information. I simply have no time to transcribe – it adds to my workload – get someone to type it up, this is the 21st century. If I have to call 3 different people to get scores, I am going to be annoyed and I will not follow your sport unless forced to. Identify someone who will always have the information on hand and in a timely manner.
  1. Work Harder – the fact remains that getting news on your sport into the media will probably take more effort, so you simply have to work harder to become more organized, understand the system and learn how to exploit it.

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