By Lindsay Clayton
July 24 2012
This is the second of a series of interviews I have done with our local press. This one is a slight diversion in that the subject is the press officer for The Warriors.
Next on my list of victims was The Warriors own Media and PR Manager, Ben Mottram. His writing style is very familiar to us all who read The Warriors site news articles as he pretty much writes them all.
Again the interview was conducted over a brew in a coffee shop in the city centre, this time during the worst thunder storm I have seen in the city! Neither of us had made provision for such a downpour, in my case no coat and there wasn’t a brolly between us! Thankfully the rain had eased somewhat when we came to leave.
So how did Ben get to where he is today; Tom is Worcester born, bred and schooled here, he studied Journalism in Gloucester and got his first job locally. He edited the Worcester Standard, where he was Tom Guest’s boss, and also worked on the Birmingham Post where he was colleagues with Brian Dick for a while.Whilst working at The Birmingham Post he had the onerous task of interviewing Maria Sharpaova whilst she was playing in the Ladies Edgbaston tennis tournament. When the interview was over, for whatever reason, Ben decided to ask Maria if she should like to see some of the sights of Birmingham and invited her to Cadbury World! Needless to say she turned him down citing tennis commitments as the reason, but said he was very sweet to ask. (I am sure there is a pun in there somewhere!)
Ben is a self-confessed sports nut, he loves sport of any sort. But at an early age he realised that he would never be any good at it so thought that the next best thing would be to find a job where he could watch sport for a living. Journalism was that job, training in Gloucester.
His love of sport took him off on a bit of a whim to Australia for the 2006/7 Ashes series. (Yes the one where England got whitewashed!), where he backpacked around Australia. Being one of the few “poms” in the crowd when you’re getting drubbed was quite an experience, but one he wouldn’t have missed!
He was offered his present post a couple of times before he said yes to become poacher turned game keeper. He loves his job and working with the press from all over Europe. He knows what the journalists want, what their editors want (he having been both) and tries very hard to help them out but sometimes there is a line he cannot cross.
The timing for announcing things like new signings or players leaving the club are dictated by all sorts of things. We all knew that Marcel was off the play in France but the Top 14 have rules about when things can be released to the press so it took a while before his new club announced that he would playing for them next season. Miles’ move to Tigers was a big non-secret for some time, but like with all clubs, Tigers had the prerogative when it came to announcing the signing of their new player. When we have signed a new player there are often requests to not release the information to the press until such and such a date agreed by all the parties involved.
Most of the time he briefs all Worcester playing and coaching personnel before a press conference and sits in himself to assist if required, but one time when he delegated that task to a colleague he came unstuck. Ben had gone to the airport to pick up Sammy T when Mike Ruddock was going to be attending the weekly press conference. All seemed well until arriving back at Sixways he was informed that the Shane Drahm incident in town had been the main subject of the press conference rather than rugby. Mike managed well enough as he has faced hostile press before, but Ben never delegates the press conferences at all now!
His match day routine starts at Sixways at about 9 am, checking out which journalists are going to be there, setting up the press room and press area, organising players for interviews and such like. He actually does get to watch the game and tweets to the scores and writes his match report during it. After the game, aware that the journalists have deadlines, he makes sure that they get the players they want for comments and the post-match press conference is held fairly promptly after the game. After sorting all that out he usually leaves the ground about 9 pm. A good 12 hour day.
There are lots of light hearted moments around Sixways as rugby players do like a bit of banter etc. Like Sammy T’s propensity to pull down players and coaches shorts! But one player he never did it to was Aleki. It would seem that would have been a de-bagging too far!
So we have a press officer who loves his job, looks forward to going to work and doing the best he can for the club and the press,
|24 Jul, 2012 05:47||Report|
Comeonyouwarriors.co.uk (IP Logged)
|25 Jul, 2012 21:36||Report|
Brummagem Bertie (IP Logged)
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