Services for media
In addition to providing facilities for media, event organisers should consider the provision of associated services to support media activity. The different types of services to consider are set out below:
Event organisers should develop a media guide which contains information about the event including:
- the event schedule
- information on athletes and officials
- information on the venue or course
- information on sponsors and partners
- relevant event organiser contact details
- event rules
- key statistics around previous events including key athlete or team performances
- media facilities and services
- media rules or terms and conditions.
In addition, it is highly recommended that event organisers consider providing media packs, these can be as sophisticated or simple as the event budget allows but are designed to provide media with a useful resource. Media packs should contain a copy of the media guide and official programme at a minimum and are generally provided in some form of reusable bag.
The media pack can include:
- brochures and messages from sponsors or partners
- country and regional information about travel, accommodation and activities
- gifts such as pens, data sticks and other branded merchandise or give-aways (often provided by sponsors or official suppliers).
Distribution of information
Email has become the main method of distributing information to the media.
A regular media newsletter is a useful way of building awareness and distributing key messaging around the event.
Depending on the scale of the event and media interest, event organisers can conduct local or overseas media briefing sessions in the lead up to the event (ideally at least 6-10 months out). This can be especially helpful building awareness amongst overseas media and provides a forum to distribute key event messaging and operational updates to assist media in planning their coverage.
During the event, organisers should consider providing a results or information board where up-to-date information and results are regularly posted. In addition, consider making physical copies of the relevant information and results readily available to the media.
Translation services and interpretation
Depending on the nature of the event and the requirements of participants and/or the international governing body, translation services and interpreters may be required.
Consecutive and/or simultaneous translation services may be required at post-event press conferences, especially where they are to be broadcast live. Consecutive and chuchotage (whispering) translation services may also be required for mixed zone and judicial hearing or similar purposes.
Rate cards (IT, internet, phones etc.)
Event organisers may consider using a rate card or catalogue of bookable media facilities and services (such as wireless internet access/usage, wired internet access/usage, mobile phones, SIM cards, mobile data sticks, laptops and printers).
To date there appears to have been limited uptake of these kinds of services in relation to sporting events in New Zealand. The appropriateness and usefulness of a rate card for a specific event will depend on the accepted practices and norms within the relevant sport and associated media contingent.
Media should be provided with some level of catering (either free of charge or at a subsidised cost), especially after the post-event media conferences and interviews, when public catering may have closed.
Media expectations will largely be framed by standard practice within the sporting code or event circuit, so national sporting bodies, international governing bodies or previous event organisers should be consulted to assist with identifying the appropriate level of catering required.
Ticketing and Accreditation
A ticket should be provided (free of charge) to each accredited member of the media, if the event is ticketed.
Event organisers need to establish strict policies and procedures regarding media accreditation.
- Initially this will begin with establishing a process for capturing media requests for accreditation.
- The application data will then need to be compiled and applications reviewed by event organisers, the national sporting organisation and/or international governing body to enable processing (this may include checks on the legitimacy of the applicants, consideration of any capacity issues and identification of targeted media groups to be given priority allocations).
- Once processing of the applications has been completed, media will need to be advised of the status of their application and details provided of arrangements for distribution of the relevant accreditation device.
Separate accreditation policies and procedures should be considered for photographers and broadcasters using jackets, numbered or coloured bibs or armbands to identify clearly who is allowed where during the sporting action, with special zones being created and managed, especially around key areas such as field of play, finishing lines and presentation podiums.
Event organisers should approach local government and local or regional tourism organisations for assistance with hosting the media. Such assistance may include organised activities, tours or events - it is important to ensure media have a great time and feel looked after.
Event organisers should consider making provision for parking or dedicated transport where possible. At a minimum, a drop-off zone should be provided near the media facilities.
If overseas media are expected, event organisers may consider providing international electrical and telephone adaptors.