North Melbourne Football Club’s media department has been pushing for positive coverage over the last 18 months, culminating in a massive pre-season campaign to coincide with the opening of the new facility. But there is one media outlet the Roos seem keen to leave out in the cold: The Age. Take this morning’s big announcement, Jack Ziebell signing on for 3 years. The Herald Sun were clearly worded up in time for today’s publication, but nothing to be seen in The Age. This, after a string of Hun exclusives direct from Arden St over the last 6-12 months (see here, here and here for some examples).
It’s an effective strategy – give a rival publication exclusive access in order to receive increased, favourable coverage – but it has its down side. While the Herald Sun is widely read, there are plenty of North Melbourne-supporting Age readers out there.
The reason for choosing The Hun seems fairly obvious, given the club’s long (and very cold) war with Caroline Wilson. I think it’s fair to say that her reluctance to issue any sort of retraction or correction after publishing unverified ‘facts’ hasn’t really impressed the NMFC administration. Which is in stark contract to The Hun’s ‘Iron’ Mike Sheahan who could, at times, be mistaken for Eugene Arocca’s lapdog.
But really, for a club that prides itself on transparency, isn’t it time to let bygones be bygones and throw The Age a bone? Surely it is in the interests of NMFC to gain maximum coverage across all media outlets? Or is the media strategy working just fine as it is – it’s just an added bonus that they’re kicking Fairfax in the guts as well?