I was reminded Sunday about a major reason I decided to revamp the ITCCCA-N website: Promotion of our sport!
This isn’t my website or that of ITCCCA.. it’s really meant to be a hub of information, sharing and promotion for all coaches in Illinois. And we need to start using it!
Initially, we had many articles submitted and people contributing often. Then, it tailed off. Updates on our site became infrequent at best. I’m as guilty as anyone, with the exception of Coach Holler.
So when the Beacon News/High School Cube published an article about one of my girls Sunday, I immediately thought “I gotta get this up on ITCCCA.com!”
But then I took a step back and realized that if I posted it, it’s going to look really biased when all of a sudden the ITCCCA site is updated by the Yorkville coach about a Yorkville athlete.
I hesitated, thinking maybe it’s best to wait for someone else.
But luckily I used my brain and realized something. That’s one of the major points of this website. PROMOTION!
.. and I want you to do the same: Shamelessly promote your athletes, program, tradition, successes, everything!
Newspapers and other content generators
How often have you been disappointed with the coverage your team receives in the media, or lack thereof?
I didn’t want to put the article out there without also encouraging you to do the same, and here’s why.
I am not a teacher. I am a full-time journalist—the sports and photo editor at a small weekly paper called the Elburn Herald (Go Kaneland Knights!). I can tell you definitively newspapers and most other media outlets keep a close eye on their content: what is getting viewed, what do people want, etc. It’s not exactly a thriving business right now, so we as newspapers need to do all we can to cater to potential readers.
So if I see a huge uptick in viewership due to a particular article, I take notice. The uptick could be due to the article getting shared a lot, viewed a lot, or a combination of both.
So when the media outlets do publish something about your team, we need to share share share!
Show the content producers that it is content people want to consume!
We have a page devoted to making it easy for you to share links with us (and thus anyone that visits the site).
There are no parameters to what you can share with us, just make sure to link directly to a source so they get the proper credit. Feel free to link and share items from your team site as well. You’d be surprised how many people want to read anything/everything they can regarding cross country and track & field.
We also have an area on the contributions page where you can write your own news! I know there are many of you that don’t even receive any coverage from the media. That doesn’t mean you can’t get the word out!
Finally, it doesn’t have to be running or track related. If one of your athletes gets an accolade, let’s celebrate that as well. High schools or colleges, public or private, we need to do everything we can to get our athletes the recognition they deserve.
Want to do more?
ITCCCA is always looking for more coaches to get involved. There are many ways you can do so, too!
From helping at one of the senior spotlight meets to volunteering at the annual clinic in January, there are so many ways you can help give back to the sports that have given us so much.
We are also looking for some website-specific help as well, so keep reading.
I’m sure you’ve likely read our great blogs from Tony Holler, Daniel McQuade and Derek Miller. Does writing a blog for the ITCCCA website tickle your fancy? We want more coaches talking about the stuff we love: Coaching athletes!
I’m currently looking for someone to be my assistant website director/publicity person. If you have experience with web design, graphic design or WordPress, super! If you don’t but you have an interest in learning, super! If you are not interested in either but are interested in finding stuff online to post to the site, super! Any of these things would be a big help as we try to make this website as useful and entertaining as possible to Illinois coaches.
If you’re interested in helping in any way, on the website or with another function that ITCCCA does, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If I can’t answer your questions, I’ll send you to someone that will.
I wish you all the best as the 2014 school year begins,
Head T&F Coach, Asst. CC Coach