Publicity Officer

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
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Andrew Camp
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Re: Publicity Officer

Post by Andrew Camp » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:49 am

Geoff Chandler wrote:
I'm doing my utmost to avoid it all. I've no need to see any of it, we all know what will happen.
Yeah, Jones will win with 10.5 points. :)
Chairman of North Wales Junior Chess Association
northwaleschess@aol.com

Krishna Shiatis
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Re: Publicity Officer

Post by Krishna Shiatis » Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:41 am

Paul Cooksey wrote: Sport
Going back a long way:
Alex McFarlane wrote:The BBC informed Lara (twice just to rub salt in the wounds) that they wouldn't cover the event since they were concentrating on sports this summer. They stated that officially chess was not recognised as a sport.
provoked some discussion on chess as a sport. But I suspect even if chess were a sport the bbc would not be interested this summer. It is just a convenient indisputable response. I'm reminded of the BBC sport documentary that found young footballers were often told "you're not big enough", because it was easier for the coach to say than "you're not good enough".

The British
I'm not sure how the Marketing Director could promote the British well nationally. It is one of the reasons I'm in favour of reform, in the hope we can find a format that is easier to promote.

In passing I don't want to defend the DoM. I've been accused at various times of being an apologist for CJ, the CEO, and the Home Director (admittedly, not the last one today). I'm also apparently dazzled by the FIDE delegates charisma and celebrity. So I don't have have the time to time to help Tim too. Although I could imagine a coherent marketing strategy that did not include the British, because I'm not sure it is a flagship event, I'm doubtful it was treated as it was for strategic reasons.

Local Press
The local press will indeed cover anything, even chess, if you give them content. But marketing has to have an aim. It seems to me the most sensible use of loacl media is to get people into chess clubs, so it is chess clubs not the ECF who should be using it.

Popular Media
Similarly, I see Krishna's vision of promoting youngish titled players, but I want to ask the fundamental marketing question - what are we selling to who? It sounds to me like part of the secondary school junior chess strategy, not something that would appeal to a man reading a newspaper on a Clapham omnibus. That said, thinking about target demographics, maybe Krishna is a person we should think about. Potential chess parents read magazines, which are hungry for human interest content. I'm not sure how you would pitch a story at a parent that encourages them to introduce their children to chess. But maybe someone does see it. (Unfortunately Gawain and Sue have missed the chance to sell their wedding pictures to Hello. :) )

The concept of a "media darling" is an interesting one, and I think crosses into the discussion about popular media. Professor Brian Cox is maybe an example, a physicist who somehow quickly became the tabloids face of science. The trouble here is finding the group of activities that are in the popular media that link with chess. I don't see them. Simon Spivak made an excellent point in another thread about a conversation with a poet. Even taking away what we see as our main image problems - the middle aged man factor - we would probably still struggle to get popular coverage, because we are an intellectual activity. Poetry is not dominated by middle aged men, but receives similar disparaging coverage from the popular media. We have an anti-intellectual strand in our popular culture which will unfortunately outlive us all.

I am far more optimistic chess may benefit from a slightly higher brow approach. It would be premature to describe Jonathan Rowson as a media darling. But he has appeared on radio 4's Today a couple of times. The first time giving a think tank view on something unrelated to chess. However his return, when they had a chess story, was very encouraging. Editorially, they did not need to cover it, but wanted to and knew someone they could go to. He noted 40% of people are now attending university, and referenced Melvyn Bragg's concept of the mass intelligentsia. These days being clever doesn't mean being small.

It seems to me 10 million chess players, and the ECF working with ITV1 is unrealistic. But a hundred thousand, and the ECF working with Radio 4 would be a bright future. Even if we are relying on a Scot to lead the way :)
A very well thought out and coherent post Paul. I do agree with much of what you have to say. There is one thing though which I think I disagree with, which is how to move forward.

I actually think that we should use everything at our disposal. Radio 4 etc is excellent as it will pull in their target demographic; but at the same time we should also target the nationals - not necessarily just the tabloids though eventually we might find our way there. I think someone mentioned about the week-end spreads etc.

I think that Brian Cox is another excellent example. He is an intelligent guy, good at what he does and looks good.

We have to explore this avenue alongside all the others. The thing is, we have to understand that the population is made up of many demographics. Different people are attracted by different things; yet someone like Brian Cox/David Beckham has mass appeal.

Mass appeal is what I am talking about. Whilst some may say

"Well that is impossible for a chess player!" I would argue, the same may have been said a couple of years ago about 'a Physicist' and now look at Brian Cox.

The thing is, it matters not one jot what they actually do. It is what they look like, how they go about doing it and how good they are at it. If you have the combination of factors and you want people to be interested, then you really have to use it.

We have problems with participation at the moment. I have said it many times now. We can not keep squeezing our existing members for more money. We have to attract more people into chess and we have to use whatever means we have at our disposal to do this.

Therefore I would say, go for a many pronged attack. Go for the young ones by appealing to parents and kids. Go for the middle-aged market as they are the current representative demographic. Also, go for the older ones as chess is for everyone and definitely go for the 'high brow' as ultimately they will love chess also.

PS Thank you to Paul for the example of Brian Cox - I think that is the best one so far.

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Adam Raoof
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Re: Publicity Officer

Post by Adam Raoof » Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:47 am

If I had the money, I would sponsor the Full English Breakfast - Lawrence Trent and Stephen Gordon make chess accessible to everyone!

Alex McFarlane
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Re: Publicity Officer

Post by Alex McFarlane » Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:52 am

I believe that the Radio Newcastle interview with Lara was repeated on Radio 4. If anyone can provide a link it would be appreciated.

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Wilf Arnold
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Re: Publicity Officer

Post by Wilf Arnold » Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:31 am

Suddenly the whole nation will be forced to become huge rowing and sailing fans
even though most of us cannot tell our port from our starboard. (Port is Queenside, Starboard is Kingside).
<Pedant Hat On>
Unless you're playing Black.
<Pedant Hat Off>

Louise Sinclair
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Re: Publicity Officer

Post by Louise Sinclair » Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:36 am

If it is young players you are aiming at then don't go for the parents. Children and young people generally dismiss anything that parents approve of as as un cool.
You might very well think that ; I couldn't possibly comment.
' you turn if you want. The lady's not for turning'

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Publicity Officer

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:03 am

Geoff Chandler wrote: the national anthem playing.......Unbeatable.
Especially that bit in one of the later verses about crushing rebellious Scots.



Agree with Adam about Full English. It's very good.

Geoff Chandler
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Re: Publicity Officer

Post by Geoff Chandler » Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:06 am

Next year is the 100th British Championship.

That needs flogged to every media outlet. A committee needs forming now
to get the publicity wagon rolling.

We need a gimmick like the torch touring the country.

The Golden Knight!
The Knight starts off in Hastings (why not?) and then carried by runners to every chess
club in Britain. The runners will be chess players. I'll do the 100 yeards from my house
to Sandy Bells.

David Pardoe
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Re: Publicity Officer

Post by David Pardoe » Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:10 am

Chess is a game for the masses...players of all ages and abilities can enjoy this `pastime`, and many chess clubs across the land are keen to see new faces. Chess is also great fun & provides many hours of entertainment and challenge. And it comes at a very cheap rate at our local clubs, throughout the winter months..... Yes, there are also opportunities to reach the very top levels, for those who want to pursue that in all its many forms..Congresses, Tournaments, etc..
These are the messages we / the ECF need to promote with vigour in our media....and events like `The British` are the platforms we need to use to maximum advantage..
Reports in our local/regoinal Press are a good starting point.
In the case of this years event, it might have been good to publish brief entry details in papers like The Yorkshire Post, The Lancashire Post, The Manchester Evening News, The Northern Echo, and maybe The Birmingham Post, to name but a few....mentioning that there are sections for all standards of players.
Maybe this event should include a series of `One day Specials` pitched directly at `novice players who have `low` or no grading..... Maybe also ask such players if they play `web chess`, and if so, do they have a `web grade`.
There is no literature promoting the 4NCL Northern League at this years Championships...disappointing. I mentioned this to Mike Truran and he said he wanted a `Northern representative` to help drive things forward, and help promote that event. Maybe someone can put up a notice/printout from the 4NCL website, just for information, with a note attached say `More teams wanted for 4NCL Northern League....` See website for more details.
Returning....
Promoting the `British Championships` in our regional Press I think is an important strand to encourage greater participation and awareness...with a note saying `come along and watch` ..and `Check out local chess websites` for more details of chess in your area. Obviously any articles need some content...its all there. Reports of progress in all sections at the end of `week 1` might well be useful, along with any pictures, tables, and notible performances from `local players`, and any comments from players...including perhaps a couple of games for interest. They dont need to be annotated. And a message saying that its not too late to enter some events.... And...your local chess club welcomes new players of all standards...the new season starts soon....!!
Local clubs in turn need to do there part, and welcome new players...maybe run some knockabout `all-play-all` events, pitched at the `newbies`..
But, we also need our media/Press to respond, and publish these snippets of information, which are of more local interest than might be apparant...and certainly make a change from all the gloom that appears in our Press...
Can we establish some good Press contacts and get stuck into the task......
We need to be pro-active and take that positive message out to the public.
PS I`ve also suggested (to Andrew Farthing and others..) that the new MEMBERSHIP SCHEME should be more `modular`and fairer in its charging... ie £15 Basic (for any one group), £20 for `any` two` groups, and maybe £25 for all three main groups. Maybe the ECF will look again at this.... I`d formally propose such from the wings (or something similar..), and maybe those with more clout will take up the task, and hopefully reach a more robust and fairer structure...
BRING BACK THE BCF

Brendan O'Gorman
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Re: Publicity Officer

Post by Brendan O'Gorman » Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:32 am

David Pardoe wrote:Chess is a game for the masses... ..... Yes, there are also opportunities to reach the very top levels, for those who want to pursue that in all its many forms.. ..
.... ..
.... ..... .... ....
.. ... .... ... ... ..
... ...
Can we establish some good Press contacts and get stuck into the task......
... .... ..), and maybe those with more clout will take up the task, and hopefully reach a more robust and fairer structure...
Whatever we do, I feel the ellipsis should play a much reduced role.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Publicity Officer

Post by JustinHorton » Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:54 am

Maybe...
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

Geoff Chandler
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Re: Publicity Officer

Post by Geoff Chandler » Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:29 pm

Hi Krishana.

You posted;

"I actually think that we should use everything at our disposal....." adding;
"....Therefore I would say, go for a many pronged attack."

So I'm an editor/journalist/bloggist looking for copy.
Am I going to be happy with as you posted in the Live games thread.

"...two Kent kids on the top board slugging it out for the U11 British title."

So now I have to find a link, find the tournament, work out who is leading.....
Much easier to hit the Olympic site and do a piece on rowing.

I know you and others are defenders of the feeling of junior players and I totally agree in some
instances they do need protecting. But this hiding of names (just the surname will do)
and hiding or results and games is going too far.
If a junior blunders a Queen in 10 moves big deal. It's only a game.
The imposed silence and editing of posts over Jain losing their Queen in the u-16 was defeaning.

Webster (1584) - Jain (1868) Brit Ch u-16's.



Black is in excellent company here. You could form a very strong club with the
players who fallen for this one. (and we all have fallen for a varition of this trick).
All the players I know who fell for this are still playing, they did not throw themselves in the lake.
Jovanka Houska, fell into this exact same trap in 1997. She is now an IM!
One game does not suddenly make an 1800+ player a bad player.

Who are the two Kent kids playing for U11 British title?
Sooner or later we will have to be told. What are they going to engrave on the cup.
2012 An u-11 junior.

I noticed no hand wringing or flapping of protective wings when Jack posts.
"Mmm, freshly crushed junior. My favourite."
Complete with full names and the game.

Krishna Shiatis
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Re: Publicity Officer

Post by Krishna Shiatis » Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:53 pm

Geoff Chandler wrote:Hi Krishana.

You posted;

"I actually think that we should use everything at our disposal....." adding;
"....Therefore I would say, go for a many pronged attack."

So I'm an editor/journalist/bloggist looking for copy.
Am I going to be happy with as you posted in the Live games thread.

"...two Kent kids on the top board slugging it out for the U11 British title."

So now I have to find a link, find the tournament, work out who is leading.....
Much easier to hit the Olympic site and do a piece on rowing.

...
Who are the two Kent kids playing for U11 British title?
Sooner or later we will have to be told. What are they going to engrave on the cup.
2012 An u-11 junior.

I noticed no hand wringing or flapping of protective wings when Jack posts.
"Mmm, freshly crushed junior. My favourite."
Complete with full names and the game.
Hi Geoff,

My name is Krishna (sorry to point it out, but it is my name!).

I know that we disagree about naming of names when it comes to juniors. Some have agreed with you and some have not.

I am not against names being used per se. Certainly not on the trophies. Please do not misunderstand/misrepresent what I am saying.

I am simply asking for a bit of sensitivity. People do not always know when they have gone too far. Therefore it is better IMO to err on the side of caution.

I do know Jack well enough to know that there is not a mean bone in his body. I can not stop Jack (nor anyone else) from publishing junior games and nor would I want to. They are there already. I am not asking for anything more than a little sensitivity and for those who are not sure, then perhaps to not use the names.

There are time when clearly it is OK - for example on trophies, on winners lists etc etc. However Geoff, I am not going to sit here and list endless examples for you. I think that you are intelligent enough to understand what I am saying.

You are quite correct that no one is going to throw themselves into a lake, however that does not mean that we ignore that they are kids and trample over their emotions without a care either.

Hopefully some middle ground can be found which is a happy medium for all, where the games can be discussed in a constructive manner without making it too personal.

I like this forum because hopefully everyone's opinion and thoughts may be expressed. Different people can offer their perspectives and hopefully be heard. My voice is just one perspective. Not everyone will remember what it was to be a child, nor be able to empathise with somebody who has been distressed; I can only endeavour to try and remind them.
Last edited by Krishna Shiatis on Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sean Hewitt
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Re: Publicity Officer

Post by Sean Hewitt » Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:06 pm

David Pardoe wrote:PS I`ve also suggested (to Andrew Farthing and others..) that the new MEMBERSHIP SCHEME should be more `modular`and fairer in its charging... ie £15 Basic (for any one group), £20 for `any` two` groups, and maybe £25 for all three main groups. Maybe the ECF will look again at this.... I`d formally propose such from the wings (or something similar..), and maybe those with more clout will take up the task, and hopefully reach a more robust and fairer structure...
I would hope that we had learnt the lessons of finance council. Plucking numbers from thin air can have devastating consequences to the amount of revenue earned. Have you got any detail of the financial implications of the scheme you propose? I would be happy to consider any well thought out and properly costed plan.

Geoff Chandler
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Re: Publicity Officer

Post by Geoff Chandler » Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:18 pm

Hi Krishna.

Sorry about the name - I won't edit it as it's been mentioned. Unlike the
post where the 10 move loss was mentioned and had to be changed.)

I know Jack never meant anything other than a joke but it does seem some
can have joke on here and some cannot.
Some can express opinion and yet others get shouted down.

I remember what it was like to be a child. (mentally I'm still one) :)
Then it was care free times, I could climb trees, run barefoot and play with a catapult.
These days my son is being told to wear protective goggles to play conkers
and school sports day has been cancelled because the fat kids cannot run.

Losing is part of the game. Seeing your loss in print is part of the publicity machine
that everyone agrees needs oiling.
I know more than anyone that there is nothing you can say to a chess player
after they have lost a game. Nothing.
But to pretend it never happened and brush it under the carpet is worse than
saying nothing. This pattern of not naming players who make a blunder - and it's
crept into the adult world as well is silly.

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