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Communication is a two-way street

Active Voice
with Laura Weaser
Sport BOP Communication Advisor

“What do you do?” Four little words; one complicated answer.

In an organisation where many roles and titles are easy to understand, my title ‘Communication Advisor' is a vague term – but communication is vital to the support and success of our sport and recreation community.

Put simply, my role is to start a conversation: between Sport Bay of Plenty and the public; regional sport clubs; recreation providers; our supporters, funders, sponsors; and within our own team of passionate individuals across the Bay of Plenty.

Communication is really just a two-way process of information being shared, and it is about listening as much as it is about sharing.

If Sport Bay of Plenty was a person, I think we'd be a really good friend because not only do we know how to have great chat about what we're up to, but we're also really good at listening to the needs, concerns and wants of our community.

We recently put our conversation skills into play with a series of communication workshops, titled Connect the Dots. The workshops were a collaboration between myself, the Community Sport Team and the Recreation Team, and the focus was about giving our clubs and recreation providers the tools to be able to communicative effectively – not only with the public, but also their own members.

The focus was on helping them spread the word about who they are and what they do, in order to better connect the community with activities they'll love and keep members around for longer.

It was a great opportunity to not just talk about what we do and what we can offer our community, but also hear from them what they are about, what they are doing, what's working and what's not.

Many of those who attended are volunteers, people who love their club and have suddenly been thrust into the role of ‘social media guru', ‘website expert' or ‘storyteller' – a daunting task if it's not your full-time job.

So it was fantastic to see those who attended engaged in conversations with other providers and clubs, and through this perhaps it made them feel a little less alone out there.

Our audience were all really engaged, and we had some 10-out-of-10 feedback from those who attended, so thank you for taking the time to listen and converse with us.

It's our goal to be the facilitators of this all-important conversation because at the end of the day our clubs, providers, funders, sponsors, supporters all want the same outcome: to get more people, more active, more often.

We're here to help, and have a myriad of free avenues available to help the promotion of sport, recreation and health services, events and providers in our region – so please feel free to email me on lauraw@sportbop.co.nz to start a conversation.

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