Get Media Savvy; Squash into the limelight

Following the new BT Sport deal with Squash which will now open up the game to a whole new audience, as well as the game being back on the agenda for the 2020 Olympics, never has it been more important to be media savvy than now.



With interviews and footage going viral at the click of a button, it is therefore worthwhile looking at the importance of media image and why, how you appear on camera can have far-reaching effects.

With the ever-instrusive nature of the media and the 24/7 news coverage of the famous, the need to deliver a message in the right manner has never been more important. Who can ever forget Kevin Keegan’s infamous ‘Fergie rant’ caught on camera when he was Newcastle boss?

Who can but cringe when they remember how Wayne Rooney was caught telling the England fans what he thought of them as they booed the team off the pitch?

And who ever dreads facing the camera immediately after a game or coming off the court knowing they will end up repeating the same lines, head down and mumbling into the floor. How do we deal with these situations? How do we protect our professional reputation and our personal brand to limit the fallout that can go global in seconds?

The answer is to understand how the media works. To understand the impact your communication is having and to know how to make it work FOR you, not against you.

When you’re faced with a difficult question from the media, or a subject you are uncomfortable with, it is important to know how to turn it around and take control of the interview, ensuring your brand and professional reputation remain intact.

Research tells us that 55% of our impact in any situation is what people see – We don’t even need to open our mouths before the impact of our body language is being felt. This might be an obvious “two finger sign” in the heat of the moment or indeed just a look or a physical gesture, but it can be picked up on instantly and may well be giving out a message that you don’t want to be sharing.

According to research 38% of our impact, is how people hear our voice – the pitch, the pace, the tone of the voice – all of which speak volumes about who we are and what we feel about the question being asked.

Only 7% of our impact is what we actually say. So our audience are reading much more into what we’re NOT saying than they are into the words we are actually using!

The message is clear: Brand yourself for the career you want not the job you have. Your personal brand and reputation have a huge impact on your career path, not to mention your financial achievements and endorsement opportunities, so invest in it.

Make sure that the public are seeing what you want them to see and that any media opportunity that comes your way is positive and constructive, helping to build a strong personal brand and representing your sport well. Not only do good media skills help during your professional life but they can also open many doors after retirement.

With so many TV and radio channels devoted to sport, there is a constant need for good presenters and commentators who can work with the media to bring their years of experience and skill to the viewing public. So whilst Squash may not yet be mainstream like Football, Rugby or Cricket, it is now gaining long awaited recognition with TV and the Media and therefore we need to be aware of the responsibilities that bring, not only for the top players but equally those embarking on a professional career in Squash, as indeed must be the case for all sports professionals.

If you need any dedicated advice regarding your personal brand do not hesitate to contact the Choix team.

Madeline Perry – Sports Consultant