Right from the very beginning of my time with The New Saints FC, the champions of Wales, I’ve followed three principles. They weren’t imposed or suggested by the club, just ones that I adopted instinctively.
They are as follows: I would never do anything to embarrass the club. I would never do anything to embarrass anyone else. I would never do anything to embarrass myself.
Although these are in the context of social media postings initially, the reality is that you can extend the principles to cover the big picture.
Regarding the former though, what I’ve noticed since the advent of social media – and I’ve been active on a personal level since the early days – is that football clubs have gone from being conservative in content to quite adventurous.
The important thing though is to know where to draw the line when it comes to pushing the boundaries. That’s where the three principles come in. Although unwritten they become checks.
If in doubt, don’t do it. Or at least, seek advice. Once something has been posted, it’s out there. It can take a long time to build a positive reputation but just seconds to destroy one.
It might sound paradoxical but be progressive, yet at the same time, cautious.
The first video below was an interview with Tom Holland, following a TNS FC game. I said, shall we put the clip out. Initially he said no, as people would be laughing at him.
I didn’t see it that way, just simply that it was funny and although it may cause laughter, it would not be at Tom personally but rather, what he said. I get on very well with Tom and he trusted me.
The second clip is similar. I was on the pitch filming the players prior to a UEFA Champions League game and as he came past me, Billy Whitehouse joked, I thought you were after a selfie.
So we did, except I had the settings on video not photo. Both clips went well on the TNS FC social media. Twitter especially is where we get most views and across that, Instagram and Facebook (which is our lowest figure) we were into the thousands.
For me, the videos tick the three boxes I mentioned earlier. I refer on numerous occasions in football-related blog entries the importance of good relationships with players. You get the best out of them in both formal interviews and informal settings. It also means they will trust you as well.
Blog entry 1301.