On Wednesday evening, the Leinster Branch ran a Club and School Public Relations Officer Seminar in Montrose Bank of Ireland hosted by Elma Beirne, Domestic Marketing, Leinster Rugby.

Clubs from around the province showed up in force to learn from experts such Marcus Ó Buachalla, Communications Manager for Leinster Rugby, Conor Sharkey, Digital Marketing for Leinster Rugby and Gavin Coffey, Director of Client Services for New Slang.

Topics covered on the night included article writing and in depth social media including good examples of live tweeting and the overall social media landscape within Ireland.

Ó Buachalla stressed the importance of accuracy and taking pride in your output as well as linking in with local media ‘It’s vital to make contact with your local sports editor, pick up the phone, get to know them- agree deadlines and be consistent with the content you send in’.

He further added ‘Your word is everything. It represents you, your family, your club, your provinceSo ensure that it is accurate. Spell check. Fact check. Once it’s out there, you can’t take it back.’

Social Media was a key focus of the night. Coffey explained the current social media landscape for adults within Ireland ‘64% of adults in Ireland have a Facebook account, 26% a twitter account and 23% an Instagram account. Clubs need to tailor their communications to each relevant audience as different age groups use different means’. He further added ‘Don’t feed twitter trolls…. They’re hungrier than a prop at a chip van queue at 4am’.

Conor Sharkey made the valid point that ‘clubs need to figure out what they’re reliable performers on Facebook are. What do you know works for your club? What do supporters of your club expect?’.  Sharkey also stressed the importance of leaving personal opinions to one side when using your clubs social media platforms ‘Remember it’s not your own opinion, use your own page for that. You must remember you are the voice of your club, anything you do or say on social represents your wider community’.

Portarlington’s Barry Lambkin, former PRO of the year spoke about building a PRO structure within your club. He added ‘in an ideal world, you’d have one person feeding in information per each team via WhatsApp or a private Facebook group. However, this often isn’t the case. Often PRO’s are roped into the position and have little support or guidance’. Lambkin also mentioned that the new mentoring system set up by the Domestic PR Committee will be very useful, especially for new PRO’s across the province.

Jacinta O’Rourke, Chairperson of the Domestic PR Committee added ‘Our Committee will be in touch with every PRO over the coming weeks to see how we can assist you or help guide in anyway’.

St. Mary’s College RFC, Maurice Davin won October’s PRO of the Month the contribution he has made highlighting his club. Maurice will be honoured at the Leinster v Connacht match on the 29th of October and will also receive VIP tickets, Life Style Sports and some Mao vouchers.

A special thank you to our main sponsor of the domestic game, Bank of Ireland for giving us the branch to run the seminar.

Check out the best tweets below.