The Philadelphia Association of GCS (PACS) recently participated in the first of a series of monthly interviews aimed at reaching the avid golfers in the Philadelphia area. The six-minute segment is called “Superintendents Corner” and is part of “GolfStyles Live” radio show on WNTP AM radio. “GolfStyles Live” is hosted by local cable and radio personality Tony Leodora. He also hosts a weekly cable TV show entitled “GolfStyles Live”.
John J. Connor III – GCSAA Class A Member and superintendent at Plymouth Country Club, Plymouth Meeting, Penn. – had known Leodora for several years. Leodora lived off the 13th hole on Connor’s course. Connor makes a practice of sending weekly emails to his members to advise them of conditions on the golf course. This has led to conversations with many of his members, including Leodora.
Connor has made an effort to talk with Leodora about golf, and more importantly about golf course superintendents. He found that Leodora was a great supporter of the superintendent profession. So, it wasn’t unusual for Connor to approach Leodora and make a comment about his radio or cable TV shows. What was a surprise was when Leodora asked him how they could get a superintendent’s perspective on the radio show. Connor knew this would be a great opportunity.
"The radio show would provide us with a chance to put our jobs in a clearer light with our customers – the golfers,” Connor reported.
Making the commitment
Connor took the proposal to the PAGCS Board of Directors. Leodora’s proposal was for a one-year agreement, with one six-minute segment each month and 12 segments per year.
Sean Remington, GCSAA Class A member at Green Valley Country Club in Lafayette Hills, Penn. said, “The radio show provided a weekly opportunity to reach area golfers and educate them on what it is we do.”
Remington contacted GCSAA Director of Communications Jeff Bollig for tips and insight on what sort of programming to offer Leodora. Bollig and Remington decided to concentrate the radio segments on the following:
The radio program has aired three times thus far – and the chapter feels that it will be a successful public relations effort for members.
- Focus on presenting topics/subjects for discussion that interest golfers. Tell the golfers how the golf course superintendents make the game more enjoyable for golfers.
- Discuss items of interest to the local golf scene such as course openings, renovations, restorations, etc.
- Discuss activities of the PAGCS and what the chapter is doing locally in terms of volunteerism, support of junior golf, etc.
- Develop a calendar of topics that apply to the current month. For example, talk about fall preparation activities in September/October.
- Preview major golf events and talk about how the weather/course differs from the region. For example, talk about the Masters and how the event conducted in April differs from the golf courses in the Philadelphia region in April.
- Select those superintendents who are comfortable speaking with the media to appear on the radio show.
Listen to past recordings of the show:
How can my chapter do this?
Connor suggests starting out small when you aim to build relationships with the local media:
- Invite your local sportswriters to a golf outing. Talk to them about local issues and explain the golf course superintendent’s role.
- When a reporter tries to contact you , be prompt when responding to messages! This is critical – they are usually on a deadline and you might not like who they go to for answers if you don’t return their call.
Here are more tips on working with the media.
To share your chapter's success stories, please email them to Leann Cooper.