How not to do media relations – a quick example

Here is a quick story which might interest you. Hartlepool FC has decided (for commercial reasons apparently) to ban all photographers and reporters from its local paper the Hartlepool Mail.

In response to this the Northern Echo, which covers most of the North East of England, thought it would help its local friend out by providing pictures and a review of the latest game.

Hartlepool FC then kindly decided to ban it as well. I don’t know about you but I think this is rather daft as there will be only one winner here and it’s not going to be the club’s chairman. Despite what you might think a football club always needs publicity to keep gate receipts high and it will need to tread a much better line than this. To be honest the only people that are really losing out here are the club’s fans.

Amusingly, the Northern Echo stuck a big two fingers up at the Chairman, after the last game, by getting a cartoon artist to draw a ‘Roy of the Rovers” style cartoon review which went down a storm and made local TV – good PR for the newspapers in question.

I think a club fan puts it best on his site: “Before you think about banning us, Ken, you can’t – this site is compiled by season ticket holders, you don’t know who we are, and we’ve paid for our tickets, so you can’t stop us from getting in.Mind you, if you continue to act like this, we might not want to go.”

One thing is for sure – this is not the way to deal with your local media or your fans.