Leitrim GAA lead from the Front with Promotional Initatives
PRO / IT Report
The year opened on a positive but busy note from a PR perspective, with all County PRO’s attending a Seminar/Workshop in Croke Park in January. Co-ordinated by Lisa Clancy, GAA Director of Communications, it outlined what was expected from all counties and provinces in relation to having a very committed focus on communication within the Association, through the use of electronic mail and social media – counties were informed that they simply had to keep up with the times.
Promotion of county, provincial and All Ireland Championships, Allianz Leagues, AIB Club Championships and all aspects of our games were also touched on, but there would be further emphasis and more meetings on this as the year progressed.
And so it turned out to be with county PRO’s being summoned to provincial and national meetings for an appraisal as to what progress was being made by each county. It must be said that this intensive approach and the concentration on the proper marketing of our games really did pay off with a renewed interest from the public and very satisfactory attendances overall.
A marvellous promotional initiative in Connacht was the Schools Jersey Day and great credit is due to all the pupils, teachers, GPOs, parents and clubs who combined to make it such an outstanding success. Special congratulations to our county winners Largy NS who were presented with their prizes during a special school visit by club, county officials and players. The pupils and teachers were special guests at the Mayo v Leitrim Connacht Championship game in Castlebar. Other provinces were highly impressed by the Jersey Day initiative and expectations are that it will be run on a national basis in 2013.
Face painting at Championship games also proved popular for family groups and we thank Aoife Molloy of the Glencar Manorhamilton Club for her organisational assistance and for the high calibre of her work as a face painter on match days.
Our own 2012 County PR Committee really did pull out all the stops in order to play a prominent role, not only for our own internal fixtures, but as part of the whole association. PR meetings were very constructive at all times and were the basis of excellent ideas for the promotion of our games and activities. James Molloy, who had devised such eye-catching promotional posters for the Connacht Championship, devoted much personal time, effort and expertise in doing likewise for our own championships, to what we are certain was to very good effect, not only from increased attendances at the games, but in creating a much more exciting build-up in the respective club areas.
It is well acknowledged nationally that the programmes produced within the county for FBD Leagues, Allianz Leagues, Connacht Championships, Qualifier games and all our own Leagues and Championships are of an eminently high standard and for this we must thank everyone who has helped in any way in this important aspect of our work.
Another promotional effort which received much acclaim was the distribution of posters and flyers to the National Schools of the county for the Allianz League game versus Limerick. Each pupil who attended the game with their flyer was entered in a draw for a personal prize of a Leitrim county jersey and also the opportunity to have a training session for their school conducted by one of the Leitrim players. There was a great turn-out of children on the day and the prizes were won by Aoibhinn Flanagan, Aughawillan N.S. and Finn Pudney, Ballaghameehan N.S. Aoibhinn and Finn were delighted to be presented with their county jerseys by Leitrim player Brian McDonald and to have Daniel Beck and James Glancy (Glencar Manorhamilton) visit their school for a football session. Thanks to all the pupils and teachers and to the Leitrim players for their willing co-operation.
The Leitrim GAA website continues to receive many accolades and this is due to the ingenuity and very willing co-operation of Brendan Doyle, who also has been of immense help in relation to the setting up and use of our social media. During the year, Brendan has overseen a minor face-lift to the county website and the integrated use of social media where our website is linked to our twitter and Facebook accounts. We were very fortunate that we were given permission by the previous administrators of the Leitrim Facebook Page to take over ownership of this hugely popular platform and for this we are extremely grateful. We wish to sincerely thank the ever-reliable Brian Blake who videoed games all year and for adding them to Vimeo, this continues to be an extremely popular focus for our members.
To help create a better atmosphere for the Leitrim County Senior Final this year, the PR Committee decided to hold a pre-final promotional programme involving players, ex-players, officials and team Managers of County Finalists Glencar Manorhamilton and Melvin Gaels. This was videoed by Colm Farrell and was used on our website and others and was the subject of admirable comment and a possible item to be expanded upon in future years. Special thanks to Colm Farrell, James Molloy and Tommy Moran who helped make this project so successful.
The Bush Hotel, Carrick on Shannon (our team sponsors) was the venue for the launch of the Connacht Senior Championship and this was another acknowledged success. An evenÓgreater promotion was the Open Evening, when all our county players, team management and Board officials played host to supporters and a number of juvenile teams from throughout the county, when everyone felt part of our county team set-up. This is something that will certainly be repeated nationwide next year and sincere thanks must go all our inter-county footballers and hurlers and their team managements who made themselves readily available at a time of intense training schedules. Indeed some of our photographs from the Open Evening made it onto the gaa.ie website and into the National Championships Promotions Booklet.
We thank our club PROs for their attendance at our training evening in Carrick on Shannon in February and their input into county affairs throughout the year. We remind PRO’s to complete the Club Audits that are being compiled by Connacht Council and the Official GAA Digital-Social Media Registration being compiled by Croke Park. Both will facilitate the GAA having relevant data of all clubs readily available for programmes, for the provincial Into the West magazine and for other promotional and historical purposes. In 2013 our clubs are encouraged to:-
- Actively engage with their members through their membership databases, websites and social media channels
- Use the following hash tag for their social media – LMGAA2013
- Use the free automated fixtures and results feeds on their websites
- Use the new club accounts package Yendo
- Promote The Gathering
We would like to thank the clubs, County Board Officers, various committees and the Senior County Management team for their support all year. A special word of thanks must go to the members of our PRO/IT committee and the Páirc Seán staff who were all very obliging during the year. Special thanks to Attracta O’Reilly and her team of young programme sellers who brave the elements on match days. We also take this opportunity to thank the members of the county committee who are exiting their roles today. We congratulate them all on jobs well done.
We liaise on a regular basis with officials in the communications department in Croke Park, Connacht Council and with PROs in other counties. We take this opportunity to thank them for their assistance throughout the year and look forward to working with them again in 2013.
We would like to convey our sincere thanks to the members of the local media who continue to promote our activities. Special thanks to John Connolly, Philip Rooney and Willie Donnellan in the Leitrim Observer, PJ Leddy, Kevin Blessing, Francis Boylan and Darragh Cox from Ocean FM and John Lynch, Willie Hegarty, Tony Ghee and Seamus Gallagher from Shannonside. Thanks also to all of the National Publications that have given coverage to our activities over 2012, in particular the weekly publication of results of club games.
In conclusion we would like to take this opportunity to convey our sincere sympathy to any of our members who were bereaved during the year. We wish all Leitrim County Teams the very best of luck in 2013 and wish you all a happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year and encourage you and your members to support Leitrim GAA by purchasing a 2013 GAA Calendar produced in conjunction with the Leitrim Observer.
Collette Nic an tSionnaigh Brendan Ó Dúill
Leitrim PRO Leitrim IT Officer
20-Dec-12 by Colette Fox – PRO