Sunday, December 11, 2011

PERSONAL: LPGA & HTK - My Focus for 2012 Starting NOW

  For those of you who've followed me on this blog - I truly appreciate the interest in what I have to say and how I spend my time.
  This has been an interesting year to be certain.  As I've stated many times, Golf Channel was a terrific opportunity for me and remains a big part of the golf landscape.  I can't tell you how many times I still get recognized as "the guy on the Golf Channel."  Great memories and so much I learned about the importance to representing a "brand" and being an ambassador for a sport, an employer and one's self.
   The LPGA has provided me a chance to take 25 years in the media and make a difference along with making a paycheck.  Am I a true "P.R. guy?"  No.  And I doubt I ever will be.  But I do feel like my experiences in front of the camera and as a part of the national sports media covering a league has helped me a great deal in providing perspective to our staff and those who make the LPGA such a rising property.
   This week is a big one.  I'll be leading a 3-day in-house seminar/discussion on how we can get better.  Both as professionals and as an organization looking to take our product to the next level.  We have very energetic people in our headquarters at Daytona Beach... and my hope is that at the end of the week we'll have a clear understanding of what can and needs to be done to create even more momentum for our players and our league.
   We'll talk about the perception of our league and our players (courtesy the president of a national Brand Analyst/Consultant) and align our efforts at communicating the message to the media and fans.  I think its important to understand shortcomings, acknowledge them, and use them to our benefit.  We'll introduce everyone to our new Public Relations/Communications partner who will show everyone what's available to our players and help us create a game plan for success.  And lastly, we'll bring in two of the LPGA's top players to help share in our discussions about showcasing players in areas outside the traditional golf arena.
    Through it all - I hope everyone will find a way to create new goals and use our team approach to make a big splash in the months ahead.  I have told our Communications team from the day I came on board that we're committed to doing every single thing with a clear purpose - not just because that's the way its always been done.
    In my short time at the LPGA I've created some nice relationships with players who are stars of their sport and who want to make a difference for their league.  That's been great.  I've organized a new Player Communications Committee as well - comprised of 6-8 players who will become a big part of our efforts to grow our brand in the media and beyond.  Who better to share ideas to benefit the players than the players themselves - right?  I'll share their names in the coming weeks.
    I've also been approached about "media training" the players and our team - using my years in the media and my experience as the Founder/Managing Director of HTK Media as a vehicle to make everyone involved in our efforts better understand how the media works, and how best to get a message across.  I'm excited about that and have plans to work with a couple of the LPGA's Top 10 players before the new season.
    As for HTK Media itself... a lot of people ask me "what I do" with it.  And to that end... I tweaked our company logo a bit to let folks know what I've really been doing for the last two-plus years.  Seminars to lead people in a better understanding of how to use the media to a company or person's advantage, Training to allow athletes to become better in front of the camera or on stage or with writers, and Consulting to help corporations or teams realize what can be done to grow their brand, shape their image or better understand the media landscape in which we live.
    I've truly enjoyed all the public speaking opportunities - be it in a corporate environment or a university classroom or even a private office.  And I look forward to making a bigger impact in the years ahead with student-athletes and corporate executives.
    Time to get busy, right?  I leave you with this.... think big picture because any little thing is just that.  And we shouldn't lose focus on the little things that get in the way of the bigger plan.  Incremental improvement is a good thing.... and a goal without a plan is just a wish!
     I always welcome your thoughts and hope to see you soon!