On the third Monday of every month, a member of the Georgia State Sports Communications staff will give InsideGSUSports a look at what is going on in their department. Over the course of every month, each department will be featured at least once. Coming next Monday: Video.
A lot of times, quantifying what we do in communications is difficult. We are not like the ticket or sales or development office where we can pinpoint a specific amount of income that we raised in the past week, month or year. Our return on investment is not always a direct reflection in immediate financial gain. It is tied to ROI though.
What we do – or at least the goal of what we do – is to build awareness. As we continue to promote our players, coaches and administrators, we are creating an affinity for our fans – whether alumni, current students or just sports fans who want to follow us – to connect with Georgia State. We want them to want to know about Georgia State, and hopefully at some point they will also come to the games or support the student-athletes and programs in some other way.
How do we do this? There are two basic ways – information and content. Information is something we deal in every minute of every day. Sports information is the old-school term for our office. We disseminate stats, stories ideas and news releases. The way we push them out has changed dramatically even just since the mid-1990s when I got into this business. Over the past five years, with the addition of social media as a major form of communication, it’s changed even more.
Information will always be a key component for us, but it’s for the die-hards (probably all of you reading this right now). What we need to grow into and focus on more going forward is content so we can reach a broader base. We’ve done a nice job of starting to expand that area since July when we began focusing on finding more compelling stories – human interest sells. Content should draw in more people, and sure, that gives us numbers and can help revenue on the website as well.
More than anything, content – stories or series that people want to see – should connect the reader with the subject. Whether a story on an academic honoree or a quick-hitting Q/A to give you a little more personal look at the great student-athletes we have at GSU, you should come away wanting more. We want you to say “I didn’t know that about (insert story subject)” or “How cool is that?” Every now and then, hopefully you’ll learn something that you can pull out for sports trivia with your buddies while enjoying a beverage at the local watering hole.
I like to think we’re doing a good job finding some unique stories this fall. We’ve had solid numbers to date, and looking at the small sample, the content pieces are definitely gaining traction. Other than football, which has numbers 3-4 times higher than almost everything else, our fall sports content pieces have been consistently been well viewed. Our Prime Numbers series and the international diversity story we had in early September are among the highest-rated stories we’ve had (again, outside of football, which draws much higher numbers). And once you think about the volume of stories we do – we’ve posted more than 300 items since the start of August – those numbers add up.
Video content has also been ramped up, as we hope you’ve seen. Numbers are similar between story page views and video, although we are pushing video out in two ways. It is on GeorgiaStateSports.com and most video features also go on our YouTube channel for the athletic department. The top 10 YouTube videos all had more than 500 views apiece, with football pulling in four of those rankings. The uniform unveiling has more than 16,000 views on YouTube and another 5,000 views on GSS.com for the best-viewed video in Georgia State history.
With all this said, where do we go? We will keep looking for unique stories and angles that show you the athletes and coaches (and soon, administrators too) from a new perspective. Do you have an idea for a story? Is there a series you’ve seen on another site that you really like and want us to see if we can adapt it for GSS.com? Send me your idea and we’ll see if it will work. Email me at email@example.com with any idea. We’ll take them all. We can’t use them all, but we want to hear from you.
— Jerry Trickie