In other teams (e.g. junior teams) the media may be relatively uninvolved and the coach’s role may be to seek out media coverage.

Important considerations when dealing with the media are:

  • Clear lines of authority – who can comment upon matters? If anyone outside of that is asked about a topic their response should simply be “no comment”;
  • Key messages – having a position on an issue and re-iterating that message in all dealings with the media;
  • Briefing – it is important for the club (and it may not be the responsibility of the coach) to ensure that people that may be asked questions by the media are briefed about issues;
  • Access – at times, coaches may be tempted to stop players interacting with the media, particularly if it is seen as a distraction to players. In making that decision, the coach must understand what obligations the club or the league has regarding player availability. Excluding the media can also create greater interest from the media;
  • Solidarity – coaches and players should not use the media to air grievances within the team, although the media will certainly invite such comments;
  • Respect – anything said to the media will come to the attention of opponents, and coaches (and players) should avoid saying anything that may be disrespectful about opponents. Opponents are likely to use such comments as motivation;
  • Reflection – coaches will often be asked to answer questions immediately after a game (or even during a game) which can be a time of high emotion. Coaches can be candid in such interviews (e.g. “we did not play well today”, “we were out-rebounded and we need to address that” etc). However, coaches should be careful about making any personal criticism or drawing conclusions regarding the performance, instead leaving that for review within
    the team.

Coaches should practice interview technique if it is likely that they will be contacted by the media. Rather than avoid media commitments (for themselves and players) the coach should consider designating times when the media can contact them.

Alternatively, if the team is not in a league that attracts media, the coach may need to play a role in getting interest from the media. Often this can be enhanced by:

  • Providing a written summary to the media after games (which can form the basis of a story). This should not just focus on their own team but should also acknowledge good performances by opponents;
  • Provide photo (or even edited video) for use by the media;
  • Provide stories beyond simply game results – for example, performance by local players at regional or national level is often of interest to local media;
  • Provide information consistently, regardless of whether or not the team performed well.