CONCACAF President Jack Warner, Minister of Sport of Trinidad and Tobago Anil Roberts, Head of Media Relations of the English FA Scott Field, Head of Communications of the English Premier League Dan Johnson, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation Oliver Camps and Chief Football Correspondent at the News of the World newspaper Neil Ashton were among the presenters on the first day of the FA-Premier League Media Workshop which opened at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Workshop which ended yesterday saw participants from member states of CONCACAF including Guyana, Suriname, Dominica, St. Lucia, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, British Virgin Islands, USA, Canada, Montserrat, Barbados, Aruba, Antigua and Barbuda, Cayman Islands and St. Kitts-Nevis saw presentations being made on the roles of the Press Officer and the Media in the sport.
Warner speaking at the Opening underscored the relevance of the Workshop, adding that it is the most important Course of all that has been conducted by the English FA in T&T and the media has a significant role to play.
He made reference to his difficulties with the media, while lamenting the fact that it relies too much on technology instead of being present at an occasion.
The CONCACAF President said he felt that negative journalism is too rampant today and the media must strive to be more constructive in its work and help build the sport.
Warner pointed out that it is not his wish for the media to become passive in its work, but it must be able to strike a balance and report the positives that occur in the sport rather that attempting to single out the negatives and make it the headlines.
He said he hopes that following the conclusion of the Course, the bar will be lifted constructively between football administration and the media.
Roberts in his remarks first welcomed all the attendees to the island, adding that the Workshop was long overdue and coming out of it he expects the relationship between the parties would be significantly improved.
He noted that communication, hospitality and marketing all encompass the work of media relations in sport.
“Being impartial, unbiased has a lot to do with how the media treats you because if you do not give them a good product then you are to be blamed for how they treat you,” Roberts said.
He pointed out that he was extremely glad that the English FA is involved in the Workshop, adding that they’ve done something right. Roberts to emphasise his statement pointed to the success of the English Premier League which he referred to as the most talked about, blogged, watched and lucrative.
“If the Media Officer is not good or passionate about what he or she does, then it becomes difficult for the sport to progress to the desired level,” he mentioned.
Johnson, who conducted one of the sessions that followed, spoke of the structures of English football and the Communications functions of the English FA.
Among the topics he touched on were some of the Policy Challenges which dealt with the external regulations, intellectual property rights, economic climate that could affect attendance and commercial revenue etc.
Ashton, who has been a guest on Sky Sports, ESPN, Radio 5, TalkSport and is also a voting member on the Laurens Sports Awards Committee in his presentation spoke of his role in the media.
He disclosed that he sets the football agenda, loves being the first to break the news and adores being at big games to interview the big names.
Scott said having an effective Public Relations unit and Marketing strategy could bring great commercial benefits to the organisation.
Members of the Workshop participated in interactive sessions, giving feedback about their understanding of what was translated during the Workshop. Kaieteur Sports’ Rawle Welch was the Guyana media rep on the course.
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