There’s a lot to be said for having PR friends. I absolutely love my fellow Kent State students that I’ve met through the KSU chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. They’re my kind of people. They’re motivated, hard-working and passionate about PR. They also occassionally send me hockey-related links. This blog post’s topic comes from a link that my friend Rebecca sent me. Rebecca blogs over at Sassy & Classy PR. She’ll be entering the “real world” when she graduates this May, but she’s been working in real PR situations since I met her. I think of Rebecca as the perfect PR student, and she’s a wonderfully sweet, genuine person to boot!
The article that Rebecca sent to me is a Laurie Sullivan piece called “NHL Social Media Strategy Keeping Fans Glued to Site,” and it’s all about the National Hockey League using social media sites to connect with fans. Just a few posts ago, I discussed NHL teams taking advantage of social media opportunites concerning the Olympics. The Sullivan article looks at the use of Twitter during the player trade deadline last Wednesday.
NHL fans see value in Twitter
Sullivan wrote, “Michael DiLorenzo, the NHL’s director of social media marketing and strategy, calls the number of people — 1,500 — who visited the Twitter channel Wednesday on the NHL site small potatoes, but significant. Each person on average viewed 8 pages and spent 25 minutes on the site. ‘That’s the type of engagement you get on Facebook,’ he says.”
I have to admit that I was checking my own Twitter account that day, and that’s how I kept track of most teams. I’m signed up for text alerts from my favorite teams, and my phone was going off with trade news throughout the day from those teams. I know teams were also making official announcements on Facebook, too. The combination of Facebook, Twitter and mobile communications made news known immediately to fans in whatever way was most convenient for them.
New Twitter tool provides inside info
One way that the NHL is trying to pull fans in is through TweetMixx, a tool used for compiling hockey tweets in one place. On the NHL Web site, visitors can check out the TweetMixx Insider’s list, which includes tweets from influential people in the hockey world, such as beat reporters who cover certain teams. On the trade deadline day, fans were hearing inside news faster than some teams were able to officially announce it to the public. To me, that shows that the league cares about treating its fans like family. They wanted people to be able to hear about their favorite teams and players as soon as possible.
It seems that the NHL is jumping on the social media bandwagon, and in the sports industry I think that’s a great idea. Fans need to feel connected to their sport to maintain life-long, die-hard love.
A few closing notes:
Stay tuned for my take on fighting in the NHL later this month. NHL team general managers are conducting their annual March meetings this week, and hits to the head will be discussed and debated. I’m currently reading The Code by Ross Bernstein, and I’m coming to my own decisions about rough, violent moves in the league.
Also, for my local readers, I hear that it’s free NHL Center Ice trial week for Time Warner Cable customers. You might want to look into that. The Blackhawks play the Kings on Wednesday, and rumor has it that Adam Burish will be back in the lineup. Can’t wait!