Communication is one of the most important aspects of soccer. On the pitch. a soccer match is rarely silent. Players need to give instructions to each other in order to execute plays. Off the pitch, communication is equally vital.
This is one of the key positions in the front office due to the fact that the Communications Department interacts with all other departments within the club as well as externally. The role of the Communications Department of football clubs is focused on attaining four basic objectives: develop a positive image of the club and its trademark, provide supporters and the media with information, establish a relationship with the fans, and deal with problematic situations in such a way that they affect the club’s image as little as possible.
Types of Activities
No list can be complete but in general the director of communications would be
- Leading the development, implementation and management of the overall communications strategy of the club;
- Serving as the day-to-day communications contact for the club;
- Ensuring a seamless service to media members at all club events, including match days;
- Managing the planning and implementation of press conferences;
Overseeing the editorial area with a strong focus on content distribution strategy;
- Acting as a club spokesperson;
- Contributing content on the club’s media properties including internet, social media and match day publications;
- Preparing and maintaining the club’s crisis management plan.
Developing a good relationship with global media is vital, which means that a person working in this area must be someone who is approachable and capable of building good rapport with others. This role requires the ability to establish effective working relationships with a variety of media and community contacts (such as newspapers, TV, radio, online/social media, etc.).
He/she must have a good understanding of the organization’s objectives, mission and vision and pro-activeness in generating new ideas for effective communications.
Having strong writing skills and foreign language proficiencies is also important, the latter particularly considering soccer (football) is a global sport, and your fan base, players, and media colleagues may often be in other countries.
The position can be hectic, especially on match days, where the job entails having to liaise media requests with the manager and players, both before and after the game.
Paul Dews is head of communications at Middlesbrough FC. Here’s what he had to say about his job:
“I’ve never been good enough to play professional football so I’m as close to it as you can be in the job that I do,”
“I love the job that I do, I’m lucky to do the job that I do. The phone’s never off, it’s 24/7 seven days a week, but it’s great.”
Listen to Paul Dews talk about his role: