Getting Media Attention
By Dick Manasseri
Whenever I schedule a clinic in a new area, I always ask the local coordinator to contact one or more local newspapers to see if they will cover the clinic.
What happened this Spring and Summer is that this approach really paid off. The clinic in Farmington Hills had just a few seniors in attendance, but there were two reporters, each with a photographer, there. One reporter called me ahead of time and I asked her to logon to the amazingly comprehensive USAPA website while we talked on the phone. I asked her to watch the promotional video with me; I showed her the Place to Play in Michigan and I pointed her to other stories about Michigan and Pickleball. In short, I made it easy for her to write her story about this new game with the funny name.
The first Farmington Hills story was published within a day of the clinic; Bill Booth picked it up and so do the Detroit Free Press. Coincidentally, we had a reporter/photographer team from the rival big city paper, The Detroit News, cover our first outdoor tournament in June and they put 4 beautiful color shots on the front page of the leisure section in their Sunday edition.
The Fox 2 Detroit executive producer of their live morning show contacted the USAPA and you or Bill referred them to me. I made contact and we brainstormed how to best utilize their roving reporter who would have four 3-minute segments doing a live broadcast of their 2-hour morning show. We decided to invite them to our most active location here in Rochester and we invited our players to start play at 6:45am. The on-air reporter was so good that he made us all relax and it showed.
Two weeks later, the local Pickleball folks were buzzing because of the ABC Good Morning America shoot. Then came our Michigan Senior Olympics and our MSO publicity person had little trouble get the local ABC station to come out just to cover our USAPA Sanctioned MSO Pickleball events. I showed the reporter the USAPA website including the Place To Play Maps. Their cameraman spent over an hour taking ESPN quality footage of some very good competition and their on-air anchors really picked up on the coolness of this new sport.
The media loves the notion of Pickleball.
Now what we need is a feature film that showcases Pickleball.
Just for the Fun of It!