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The growing power of the media

The media can be a powerful tool in influencing decisions by ownership and front office execs. Jack Bechta

Print This November 14, 2012, 06:30 PM EST

With the evolution and avalanche of social media, bloggers, TV shows, and websites that cover and compete for news and stories, front offices can feel like the 300 Spartans fighting off the non-stop onslaught from Xerxes’ super army estimated to be over 200,000 plus. Although the Spartans were the best conditioned fighters in the known world. The barrage of arrows, firebombs and countless Persian brigades just wore down the brave Spartan warriors as the media sorties do to most front offices. Today, the competition for content is so brutal that the rules have dramatically changed and it seems that anything goes and there are no rules at all.

Much has changed since the time when each team had only one to three beat writers to deal with in each market. Many of those beat writers had to keep good relationships with the team. At times, beat writers would even be guardians of toxic intel and even help teams smooth things over with fans. Those teams who have not kept up with the changing media times, developed strategies and policies will find themselves getting smacked around, especially when they produce average or losing teams. And eventually reacting to, being swayed by and even appeasing the media demands.

Today’s owners and top team executives not only have to have thick skin but they must also develop media policies that help keep a moat around their internal affairs. In addition, everyone in the organization must be on the same page, protect each other and speak to the media with a singular voice. The Patriots, Packers, Ravens, Steelers, and now the Niners do this pretty well. Even though the Chargers are struggling, the media rarely manipulates their power people. Then again, some markets are softer than others.

Fans and media, more than ever before are getting their messages across to NFL front offices and in many organizations, it’s having a real impact.

Follow me on Twitter: @Jackbechta

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