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Thursday, 7 July 2011

The Beauty & the Best

Having previously compared Social Media to the Wicked Witch - I have been feeling the need to offer the ‘flip side’ to that coin (feeling sorry for Social media).  
Yes, there is ample scope for Social Media to be used in a fashion that brings nothing but ‘evil’ (Heat magazine definition as well as mad dictator type) to the world.......  But there is also a huge scope for Social Media to be an immensely powerful tool to better the world, to better your sports club, and dare we say it - to better one-selves...
So in the spirit of fair play - given that a ‘Cartoon style fairytale theme’ had been used in my earlier ‘witch-hunt’ - the same path is here for all as we unveil the “Beauty and the Best”.... 

In days gone by, days before Social Media (our “Beauty” of the title), life working at a sports club was a pretty insular affair....  You worked hard, and you sometimes saw results (if you were doing a good job, you had some decent folk working and the wind was in the right direction).  
But your world was a relatively small one....  There was so much going on ‘in your own world’ that it was very difficult to network with other clubs, to learn about what industry leaders were doing.  In the ‘olden days’ - very rare sports conferences were about as close as you got to industry sharing.  
You heard of practices in other clubs, in other countries, in other sports that you thought would be useful to you - and the most pro-active amongst us did indeed go on fact finding missions to Australia / United States to move our own clubs forward.  Taking on interns to do research on your behalf (“call up and get their documentation”) was another approach.....
Fast forward to the 21st century - and the “Beauty” shows her face.....  The Internet of course started it all of - with everything becoming much more available - but the growth of Social Media has meant that everything is (or should be) global....  #trending sees the most popular topics spread like wildfire, anything good that anybody does is immediately picked up by ‘groups’, by bloggers, by video clips of the results, the list goes on...
Social media really is a very powerful tool for learning as you work.  If you are not improving your knowledge / your skill set on a daily basis - then you are doing something wrong....  And that's before we even mention the value for money it offers, or the speed at which you can undertake / promote and get customer feedback on your efforts....
Beautiful dontcha think.....
But what about the Best, Beauty’s nemesis of the fairytale....  Yes - I have spelt it wrong - but for a purpose...  
You see with all the advantages that Social Media has brought to sports club management, to sports marketing (and of course to other parts of the world and it’s business) - there is now an expectation on clubs, on staff members that they should be the “Best”.
Don't be one....!
As you go about your daily workload - there is no longer any excuse for not knowing about the latest innovations in sales, no longer any reason why you should not be aware of how the most effective customer service strategies are played out....
Finance / resource (or lack of) may still get in the way - but ignorance is no longer an option.....  If you are running a sports club - you MUST be setting yourself up to be the best at what you do....  You have the opportunity to interact with the most talented clubs, the most talented individuals from right around the world...  Everybody has the opportunity to know about everything - so you have to target being the ‘Best’ to really achieve...
What a great opportunity - so make sure you search out methodology to keep up with the ‘effective’ Jones’, make sure you know what is best practice (and how to implement it - sure enough your competitors, or your supporters/sponsors will soon know) and from time to time have a crack at setting a few new benchmarks...
The Beauty of Social Media is that everyone has chance to be the best - miss out and you really are a Beast!!

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