2010

Communication Audit Of Geelong Football Club

Conducted by MLJC Consultancy MLJC AUGUST 2010

Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club

Mark Blake Lachlan Ross - 600108473

Jenna Handreck - 900090382

Chloe McIntosh

Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
TITLE PAGE
MLJC Consultancy has been asked on behalf of the Geelong Football Club to prepare a communication audit on their current day to day operations and how it communicates with its chosen target publics. The findings of the audit will assist the Geelong Football Club in achieving their communication objectives and to further assist what better practices could be put in place.

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
Contents
TITLE PAGE ................................................................................................................. i 1.0 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ................................................................................... 1 2.0 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ..................................................................................... 2 3.0 INTRODUCTION................................................................................................... 3 4.0 METHODOLOGY ................................................................................................. 5 5.0 AUDIT DIARY ....................................................................................................... 7 6.0 RESULTS OF AUDIT PROCESS ....................................................................... 9 6.1 PLAYERS OF GEELONG FOOTBALL CLUB ............................................ 9 6.2 CORPORATE AND COTERIE GROUPS ................................................. 15 6.3 MEMBERS OF THE GEELONG FOOTBALL CLUB ................................ 24 7.0 CONCLUSIONS.................................................................................................. 32 7.1 STRENGTHS ............................................................................................ 32 7.2 WEAKNESSES ......................................................................................... 32 7.3 OPPURTUNITIES ..................................................................................... 33 8.0 RECOMMENDATIONS ...................................................................................... 34 8.1 PLAYERS OF THE GEELONG FOOTBALL CLUB .................................. 34 8.2 CORPORATE AND COTERIE GROUPS OF THE GEELONG FOOTBALL CLUB ............................................................................................................... 34 8.3 MEMBERS OF THE GEELONG FOOTBALL CLUB ................................ 35 9.0 APPENDICES ..................................................................................................... 36 10.0 REFERENCES.................................................................................................. 37

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
1.0 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
MLJC Consultancy must express their appreciation to the Geelong Football Club for their continuous support and guidance throughout our communication audit. MLJC would particularly like to thank Tom Peeters from the Geelong Football Club media department for his enthusiasm and openness to assist MLJC with all enquires we had in order to complete this audit. MLJC would also like to thank the senior playing group, club members and the corporate body for giving up their time to participate and complete the surveys we provided. This audit would not have been anywhere near our satisfaction level if it wasn‟t for Mark Sheehan. His constant support and encouragement cannot go unnoticed and MLJC would like to say thanks for everything. Mark Blake, Lachlan Ross, Jenna Handreck, Chloe McIntosh

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
2.0 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
This communication audit was designed and developed by MLJC Consultancy to assist the Geelong Football Club to measure the effectiveness of their strategies of communication with its chosen target publics, in order to provide a comprehensive insight into which tactics are at a satisfactory level and if any of those need improvement. Over an 8 week period, MLJC Consultancy worked in tandem with the staff of the Geelong Football Club to conduct the audit. After meeting with the media and communications department of the club, MLJC identified three major target publics that would both assist MLJC in gaining the information on the effectiveness of the Geelong Football Club‟s communication, and benefit from any recommendations suggested by MLJC at the conclusion of the audit. The three target publics included were staff (internal), members and corporate (external). Two forms of methodology were used by MLJC to complete the audit, descriptive quantitative research and exploratory qualitative research. MLJC conducted a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the data collected from both the qualitative and quantitative research. The results of the data collected lead MLJC to advise a number of recommendations including. 1. Communicate with players electronically through the use of instant text messaging and email. 2. Listen and work with players to determine the appearances they are most likely to enjoy. By having players complete appearances in which they like to some degree could potentially improve the attributes of the amount of non-football commitments and the amount of club functions appear at which are both rated as below acceptable. 3. Hold special functions or events before the match on game days where corporate and coterie members can mingle with directors and senior management, even if it only for a short period of time. 4. Send out a questionnaire email to all corporate and coterie members asking their views on the issue and then follow this up with a feedback email explaining why that certain decision was made.

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
3.0 INTRODUCTION
The Geelong Football club nicknamed „The Cats‟ is a professional Australian Rules Football club named after and based in the city of Greater Geelong. Playing in the AFL, the club has been VFL/AFL premiers eight times. The Geelong Football Club is the second oldest sporting club of any code in the world. It was formed by Thomas Wentworth Wills at a meeting held at the Victoria Hotel on 18 July 1859. The club‟s home is a 30,000 capacity football stadium Kardinia Park. It is now known by its sponsored name “Skilled Stadium”. As of 30th June, 2010 the club had 40,358 members nationwide. The clubs recent on field success over the past 4 years has seen an increase of 8000 new members registering with the club as well as the redevelopment of their home ground, including two new grandstands, training and corporate facilities. Initial planning for the third stage of the grounds redevelopment is well under way and is currently waiting for Government finance approval. The Geelong Football Club in recent years has become an AFL powerhouse, both on and off the field. Since 2007, through the guidance of Coach Mark Thompson, the club has won 82 of 100 games. This includes three grand final appearances: winning two of them, a NAB premiership and two Brownlow Medals Jimmy Bartel, (2007) and Gary Ablett (2009). It is the only AFL team to have 9 players selected in a single All Australian team (2007). In 2009, Geelong became the only club to win more than 18 games in three successive seasons (2007-08-09) and finally the longest AFL/VFL longest winning streak of 23 games. In the wake of the global financial crisis, the competition between clubs to attract new corporate sponsors and members has been extremely difficult. The communication audit reviewed the communication methods and tactics used by the Geelong Football Club and its effectiveness. The audit identified some key areas of concern that require attention in order to improve the club‟s communication methods and tactics to its internal and external publics. Results of researching the external communication will instruct the Geelong Football Club whether the current communication strategies that they have in place are accurately targeting audiences, and if they are relevant to what is expected and whether or not the information provided by the Geelong Football Club is clear and easily accessed. The internal communication methods will also inform the Geelong Football Club‟s dominant coalition of their successful and/or unsuccessful methods and tactics of communication. The detailed research on internal communication will inform how well the Geelong Football Club‟s communication methods are perceived and interpreted by its current players and staff. It will highlight and bring attention to the areas that need to be addressed and improved. It will also acknowledge the areas that are currently functioning successfully. In order to gain a better understanding into whether the Geelong Football Club is adequately communicating with the club, MLJC conducted a survey for the current players to gain an insight into the current communication methods they are exposed to and how it is perceived by them.

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
The researching of external sources included surveys to current members and the corporate and coterie groups of the club. MLJC Consultancy aimed to find out whether the Geelong Football Club was effectively communicating with these sources both on a local and national scale. MLJC were also able to gain access to other external sources including the website, annual reports, year book and newsletter – see (Appendix 3, 4 & 5) An explanation of the methods of research used by MLJC and the results obtained from this research has been outlined in the communication audit. An audit diary has also been included with the times and dates in which MLJC consultants met in order to consolidate the information from the research collected about the current communication methods that are in place at the Geelong Football Club. MLJC Consultancy‟s team charter (Appendix 1) had outlined the process from the team work in a positive and productive manner, thus it identifies individual responsibilities and tasks for the audit process and structure.

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
4.0 METHODOLOGY
The methodology outlines which research instruments were used and how by MLJC Consultancy whilst conducting the communication audit.

TYPES OF INVESTIGATION USED
Secondary data was firstly sought and researched by MLJC Consultancy from the Geelong Football Club‟s website as well as hard copies of information such as the Yearbook and Annual Report (Appendix 3 & 4) which are produced by the Geelong Football Club for their key publics.

RESEARCH APPROACHES
Descriptive Quantitative Research MLJC Consultancy conducted surveys on three key groups that were identified on behalf of MLJC Consultancy and the Geelong Football Club. The three groups were as followed: 1. PLAYERS OF GEELONG FOOTBALL CLUB 2. CORPORATE AND COTERIE GROUPS 3. MEMBERS OF THE GEELONG FOOTBALL CLUB MLJC Consultancy conducted a survey on the current players of the Geelong Football Club to determine their feelings regarding the communication between and approachability of the clubs public relations department. The survey focused on the information flow between the players and PR Staff, allowing for recommendations to be made based on the results of the survey. The survey that was administered on August 2010 by MLJC consultancy is included in the (Appendix 8). The Player Satisfaction monitor is conducted through self completion questionnaires. The survey was administered in hardcopy in a team meeting due to the poor response rate from previous years. In previous years the survey was administered by placing the questionnaire in each individual player‟s locker with instructions of whom to hand it to. The survey was administered in November 09, with results received the day the survey was administered. The Corporate and Coterie Members Satisfaction Monitor was conducted through self completion questionnaires. Due to declining response rates via mail from 20002008, the 2009 survey was administered online. A link was sent via email on November 10th 2009, a reminder email was sent on the 24th of November to those that had not completed the survey and another reminder sent on the 10th of December. All responses were received by the 18th of December. The questionnaire used in 2009 (Appendix 6) This survey was the fourteenth in the series. A census of all members is attempted; however less than half a full response rate was achieved.

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
The GFC Members Satisfaction Monitor was conducted through self completion questionnaires; it was a sample group of approx 500 members. Due to declining response rates via mail from 2000-2008, the 2009 survey was administered online. A link was sent via email in November, a reminder email was sent at the end of the month and then another in mid December. All responses were received by the 18th of December. The short answer survey used in 2009 (Appendix 7) Despite the GFC members indicating email to be their preferred method for communication the on-line survey had a lower than average response rate. The survey was concluded with follow up emails, which highlight the level of communication provided by the GFC. Secondary Research Information MLJC have used many sources of secondary research information. The Geelong Football Club‟s annual yearbook, which goes out to all members and the club newsletter (Blue & White) were used to determine whether the content of these two prints appealed to Geelong Football Club members. The Geelong Football Club‟s annual report (Appendix 3) was used to review the Geelong Football Club‟s mission and to evaluate the effectiveness and relevance of its mission statement to player, members and corporate and coterie groups. The Geelong Football Club‟s website http://www.gfc.com.au and wiki page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geelong_Football_Club was used to investigate basic information about the club. The research methods focused on testing the quality of the messages being sent, the way in which they were delivered, and the quality of the relationship between the club and groups.

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
5.0 AUDIT DIARY
ACTIVITY Confirmation to conduct audit on GFC WEEK 1 WHERE MLJC offices WHO Lachlan Ross Mark Blake Jenna Handreck Chloe McIntosh Plan approach 3 MLJC offices Lachlan Ross Mark Blake Jenna Handreck Chloe McIntosh Research GFC and their current communication methods 4 MLJC offices Lachlan Ross Mark Blake Jenna Handreck Chloe McIntosh Contact and meet GFC to arrange surveys 4 Skilled Stadium Lachlan Ross Mark Blake Jenna Handreck Chloe McIntosh Prepare questions and surveys 4 MLJC offices Lachlan Ross Mark Blake Jenna Handreck Chloe McIntosh Surveys conducted 5 Skilled Stadium Lachlan Ross Mark Blake Jenna Handreck Chloe McIntosh

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
Finalise and submit communication audit and essay 7 MLJC offices Lachlan Ross Mark Blake Jenna Handreck Chloe McIntosh

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
6.0 RESULTS OF AUDIT PROCESS
This section of the report outlines the results from the exploratory qualitative research undertaken with the Geelong Football Clubs PR Manager, and the descriptive quantitative research undertaken by MLJC with the current players, members and corporate groups of the Geelong Football Club.

SURVEY DESIGN
The survey of all target publics – members, corporate and coterie groups and players - were administered through self-completion questionnaires. This required MJLC Consultancy to contact the Geelong Football Club to ask for approval. With their support the respondents were informed of the purpose of the survey and were given and asked to take part in them. When the surveys were returned MJLC Consultancy thanked the respondents for their cooperation. There was a different survey given to each target public and the questions were based around the demographics of that target public. The survey contained close-ended response questions. Respondents were asked to rate their attitudes towards each question. Close-ended responses provide a more straightforward and clear analysis of the results as opposed to open-ended questions.

6.1 PLAYERS OF GEELONG FOOTBALL CLUB
In considering the player attribute ratings below, the benchmarks used in all Geelong Football Club monitors are as follows, and are used as a useful guide in this report to analyze the meanings of the figures. Rating of below 70 out of 100 Rating of 70 out of 100 Rating of 80 out of 100 Rating of 90 out of 100 „Below acceptable‟ „Acceptable‟ or „Satisfied‟ „Good‟ or „Highly Satisfied‟ „Excellent‟ or „Extremely Satisfied‟

MLJC has found that the Geelong Football Club has set a satisfaction target of 80 out of 100 as a Key Performance Index to be achieved across all stakeholder groups. Satisfaction of the players of the Geelong Football Club is a key component in the ongoing success of the Football Club. Overall player satisfaction has been analysed by using series of player satisfaction attributes which are listed in the table found below

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club Player Satisfaction
100 95 90 85 80 75 70 Player Satisfaction

65
60 55 50 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

Overall player satisfaction currently sits at a satisfied level (79) only one point from being highly satisfied and meeting the Geelong Football Clubs key performance index (KPI) which is (80) across all stakeholder groups. Player satisfaction peaked in 2001 and 2003 before hitting a 9 year low in 2007 before rapidly improving over the past 2 years.

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
Player Satisfaction Attributes Top 10
Respect for coach & football staff Respect for other players Professionalism 94

Bottom 10
Amount nonfootball commitments R/ship b/w players and other staff Comm. About appearances & functions Way club handles players delisted Amount of club functions appear at Support stafftrainers/ massage therapists R/ship b/w players and football dept R/ship and comm. b/w coaches and players Other equipment (Gym, pool, spa) Introductions to depts. and staff 58

91

59

90

62

Coaching & teaching methods Relationship b/w players and club Player Leadership program Quality of recruits

89

64

88

66

88

67

87

67

Prof. of physio staff

86

71

Prof. of fitness staff

85

71

Prof. of medical staff

84

84

The table above ranks the 20 attributes into the top 10 and bottom 10. There 6 attributes that are seen as below acceptable, that is receiving a rating of less than 70.

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
The survey conducted below was conducted with improving the below acceptable attributes of communication about appearances and functions (62), amount of non football commitments (58) and the amount of club functions that players are required to appear at as the key focus.

Question 1:

Frequency of Information Regarding Appearances
Weekly Fortnighly 0% 5%

3 Monthly 50%

Monthly 45%

Results indicate that the majority of Geelong Football Club players currently receive information regarding the undertaking of player appearances on a monthly and 3 monthly basis. 50% of players were updated on the appearances they must complete on a 3-monthly basis whilst 45% of players were updated on a monthly basis.

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club

Question 2

Preferred Frequency of Information Regarding Appearances
Monthly 20% 3 Monthly 0% Weekly 15%

Fortnighly 65%

The majority (65%) of players wish to be updated about the upcoming appearances they are to complete on a fortnightly basis, with only 20% of players preferring to be updated less frequently that on a fortnightly basis.

Question 3

Preferred Method of Communication
Email Hardcopy Text Message 0% 35% Verbal

45%

20%

The majority (80%) of players prefer to receive updates relating to appearances electronically. 45% prefer to receive information electronically through text messages sent to their mobile phones outlining updates whilst 35% prefer to receive information electronically via their personal email accounts. Only 1 in 5 players prefer the current system of receiving a hard copy in your locker, with 4 in 5 players outlining the need for change.

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
Question 4

Approachability of Staff Organising Appearances
Excellent Above Average Average 0% 0% 25% 20% Below Average Poor

55%

Just over a half of players rate the Geelong Football Club staff in charge of coordinating player appearances as average in relation to their approachability. The remaining players (45%) are split between the staff being below average and above average.

Question 5

Say in the Types of Appearances
Yes Ocassionally No

10% 25% 65%

Just under two thirds of players said that they have no input into the type of appearance‟s they undertake for the Football Club. Only a small majority (10%) claim they do have a say whilst the slightly larger number (25%) admit to occasionally having an input into the type of appearances they undertake.

(APPENDIX – 8 PLAYERS COMMUNICATION SURVEY)

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
6.2 CORPORATE AND COTERIE GROUPS
One of the Geelong Cats key stakeholders is that of Corporate and Coterie members. This area is divided into six main groups. These include: sponsors of the club, the Gold Cats group, the Pivot group, the WAGS (We Are Geelong Supporters) group, Open-air box holders as well as player sponsors and other more minor contributing sponsors.

SPONSORS OF THE GEELONG FOOTBALL CLUB
MAJOR SPONSOR:
FORD

ELITE SPONSORS:
NIB, Skilled, ISC, Simonds, Geelong Advertiser.

PREMIER SPONSORS:
Bendigo Bank, Carlton Draught, Coca Cola, Momentum Energy, Ray‟s Outdoors, Shell, TAC and Telstra

ASSOCIATE SPONSORS:
Belmont Timber, Betfair, Bundaberg Rum, Body Science, Costa Group, Deakin University, K-Rock, Lambys, Motarola, Scotchman‟s Hill and Pura Milk

TYPES OF MEMBERSHIPS AVALIABLE
GOLD CATS
This membership group receives premium match day hospitality and entertainment at all home games, reserved gold seating at all club events as well as a guaranteed reserved seat on Grand Final Day all at a cost of $6,195 per person. Members will also receive a personal or business acknowledgement at match day functions and the end of year club magazine called the Cats Insider.

PIVOTS
The key benefits of this membership are very similar to that of the Gold Cats in that they receive premium match day hospitality at not only Skilled Stadium but Etihad Stadium and the Melbourne Cricket Ground also. They also receive gold seating at all club events and are reserved a seat at the Grand Final as well as a personal or business acknowledgement at match functions and in the Cats Insider. This is all at a cost of $5,090 per person.

WAGS
This is a membership group for Melbourne-based supporters. For $2,600 they receive pre-match hospitality at seven nominated games in Melbourne, as well as premium reserved seating and a car park pass to all Etihad Stadium and MCG home games. They also receive an invitation to the Geelong Cats Season Launch.

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
WAGS PLUS
This group receive all of the above benefits but for an extra $420 receive a full membership and a seat guaranteed in the Grand Final.

OPEN AIR BOXES
Ranging from 6 to 12 seat boxes, as a seasonal box holder they have access to eight home games as well as one game at Etihad Stadium or the MCG. This membership also involves an adult membership for each seat purchased, a gourmet lunch hamper and waiter service to the box throughout the day. They receive an invitation for two guests to attend the season launch and an opportunity to secure a seat at the Grand Final should they compete. The company name is also acknowledged on the box and in the annual report edition of the Cats Insider Magazine. Open-air boxes cost $1,820 per seat.

PROFILE OF RESPONDENTS
- Of the respondents: - 15% were Sponsors -13% were Gold Cats -28% were Open Air Box Holders - 8% were Pivots - 21% were WAGs -14% were Player Sponsors. - Around half of the Corporate and Coterie members who responded to the surveys were Company owners (42% in 2009). - Around half of the Corporate and Coterie members work in Geelong (45% in 2009). - The main three industries represented in the corporate and coterie groups were construction, finance and insurance and personal and other services. - The vast majority of Corporate and Coterie members who responded over the first nine years were aged 35-64 years (84%) - In 2009, 20% of the respondents were female.

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
RESULTS OF CORPORATE AND CORTERIE GROUPS
MLJC Consultancy have conducted a survey
How satisfied or dissatisfied are you with communication within the Geelong Cats

Satisfaction
Sponsor Pivots 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 May Oct Apr Oct Apr Oct April Oct 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2000 2000 2001 2001 2002 2002 2003 2003 Gold Cats WAGS Open Air Box Holder Player Sponsor/ Other

The survey results showed a gradual increase in overall communication satisfaction within the corporate and coterie groups over the last ten years. The rating of overall satisfaction among corporate and coterie members fell 4 points to 79 out of 100, from a high of 81 out of 100 achieved in 2008. Each of the coterie groups achieved their highest ratings for overall satisfaction in 2008, with all, except WAGs, reporting a decline in 2009. WAGs achieved an extremely satisfied 91 out of 100, the highest of the monitor. On the other hand, Player Sponsors rated satisfaction at below the satisfied level (68). Pivots achieved the target KPI (81), despite a decline from 87 in 2008. Sponsors (72), Gold Cats (74) and Open Air Box Holders (75) rated overall satisfaction at the satisfied level.

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
QUESTION 2
What is your likelihood of renewing your package next year?

Likelihood of Renewing next year
Sponsor Pivots 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 May Oct Apr Oct Apr Oct April Oct 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2000 2000 2001 2001 2002 2002 2003 2003 Gold Cats WAGS Open Air Box Holder Player Sponsor/ Other

Over the 10 years of the monitor, the forecast rate of renewal for the upcoming season increased, achieving a high of 72 out of 100 in 2008. This declined in 2009 to 67 out of 100; the second highest of the monitor. WAGs were the only group to provide a rating for likelihood to renew at the highly satisfied level (81). Pivots have reported significant improvement in this measure from well below satisfied (31) to achieved 78 out of 100 in 2009, the highest of the monitor. Player Sponsors (52) and Gold Cats (57) provided the lowest ratings for likelihood to renew in 2009. Of concern, Gold Cats reported a decline of 30 points from 2008 (87) to 2009 (57).

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
QUESTION 3
a) How would you rate the quality of communication sent to you by the Geelong Cats? b) Do you feel you are kept informed about the club from directors and senior management? c) How satisfied are you with the access you have to directors and senior management on match days? d) How satisfied are you with the access you have to directors and senior management not on match days? e) How satisfied are you with the access you have to players and coaching staff? f) How satisfied are you with the information you receive from the Club that is not available through the media?

Communication - Club staff
OVERALL COMMUNICATION Access to senior mgmt - match day Access to players & coaching staff 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 May Oct Apr Oct Apr Oct April Oct 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2000 2000 2001 2001 2002 2002 2003 2003 Informed by directors & snr mgmt Access to senior mgmt - not match day Information not available through media

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club

b) Being kept informed about the Club achieved a below satisfied rating of 67 in 2009, which is 5 points lower than the high of 72 out of 100 achieved in 2008. Ratings for this measure vary widely across coterie groups and from year to year. In 2009, WAGs (82) were the only group to achieve the highly satisfied level, which was also the case in 2008 and 2007. In 2009, the lowest ratings were provided by Gold Cats (56), Pivots (54) and Player Sponsors (58).

c) Ratings of the access to directors and senior management on match days has remained well below the satisfied level throughout the 10 years of the monitor, and in 2009 was 60 out of 100. WAGs (77) were the only group to achieve the satisfied level on this measure in 2009. Sponsors (66) provided the second highest rating across groups in 2009, improving from the low of 44 out of 100 in 2007. Pivots (50) reported the lowest rating for access to directors and senior management on match days, down 20 points from the high achieved in 2008 (70). Gold Cats (53) also reported a significant decline from a high of 83 in 2008.

d) The rating of access to directors and senior management not on match days has been similar to the rating of access to directors and senior management on match days. The 2009 result was similar at a below satisfied 58 out of 100. Results by coterie group vary considerably, with WAGs (70) providing their highest rating for the monitor and being the only group to achieve the satisfied level on this measure. Sponsors (63) provided the second highest result, declining 6 points compared to 2008 (69). Player Sponsors (45) and Gold Cats (47) provided the lowest ratings.

e) The 2009 result of the access to players and coaching staff is well below the satisfied level with 53 out of 100 was well below the satisfied level. Gold Cats (36) provided the lowest rating for this measure in 2009, a large decline compared to the 2008 result (67) when it achieved its highest rating and the highest rating for this measure across coterie groups. WAGs (68) achieved the highest rating in 2009, which was the highest for this group over the 10 years of the monitor, followed by Sponsors (59).

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
f) The 2009 result of information received from the Club that is not available through the media was 58 out of 100 which is well below the satisfied level. WAGs (75) were the only group to achieve the satisfied level on this measure in 2009, which was the highest achieved by this group over the 10 years of the monitor. A number of groups reported large declines from 2008 to 2009: Sponsors (down 17 points from 64 to 47), Gold Cats (down 23 points from 67 to 44) and Pivots (down 16 points from 70 to 54).

QUESTION 4
a) How satisfied are you with the level of consultation that takes place prior to the
Club making decisions that affect your coterie group? b) How satisfied are you with the forums for discussion that are provided by the Club? c) How satisfied are you with the feedback you receive on the reasons for decisions that affect you and your coterie group? d) How satisfied are you with the consultation you have had on the Club’s business plan and progress?

Communication - Consultation
OVERALL COMMUNICATION Forums for discussion Consultation - business plan & progress 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 May Oct Apr Oct Apr Oct April Oct 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2000 2000 2001 2001 2002 2002 2003 2003 Consultation - decisions impacting group Feedback - decisions impacting group

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club

a) The rating of the level of consultation prior to decisions trended upwards and achieved a rating equal to the highest over this time, it remains well below the satisfied level at 57 out of 100. WAGs (73) were the only group to achieve the satisfied level for this measure, which was equal to the highest for this group over the 10 years of the monitor. The second highest rating was provided by Pivots (63). Gold Cats (44) and Player Sponsors (45) provided the lowest ratings in 2009.

b) The rating for forums for discussion in 2009 achieved a rating of 56. This was one of the lowest rated attributes across the survey. WAGs (77) were the only group to achieve the satisfied level, which was the highest result for this group over the 10 years of the monitor. Gold Cats (39) achieved their lowest rating following a decline in ratings of 19 points compared to 2008 (58). Player Sponsors (45) also rated forums for discussion well below the satisfied level. Sponsors (59) achieved a rating equal to the highest for this group over the 10 years of the monitor.

c) In 2009, the rating for feedback on reasons for decisions affecting you or your coterie group achieved a rating of 55 out of 100. This was one of the lowest rated attributes across the survey. WAGs (73) were the only group to achieve the satisfied level, which was the equal to the highest result for this group over the 10 years of the monitor. Gold Cats (42) achieved the lowest rating following a decline in ratings of 25 points compared to 2008 (67). Player sponsor (45) also rated feedback for reasons for decisions well below the satisfied level. Sponsors (56) and Open Air Box Holders (55) achieved ratings that were 2nd and 3rd highest across the coterie groups. d) In 2009 the rating for the consultation on the Club‟s business plan and progress achieved of 56 out of 100. WAGs (70) were the only group to achieve the satisfied level. Player Sponsors (40) provided the lowest rating on this measure, with Gold Cats (47) reporting the largest decline. Sponsors(59) and Open Air Box Holders (58) achieved ratings that were 2nd and 3rd highest across the coterie groups.

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
QUESTION 5
a) How satisfied are you with the frequency of information you have received from the club? b) How satisfied are you with the format of information you have received from the club?

Preferred Communication Method
Written - email Personal - presentation Internet website 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% May Oct Apr Oct Apr Oct April Oct 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2000 2000 2001 2001 2002 2002 2003 2003 Written - letter Telephone Personal - one on one Written - fax

What is your most preferred form of receiving information from the club? (Circle one)
- Personal (one-on-one) - Written (fax) -Written (email) - Internet website - Personal (public presentation of information) - Written (letter) - Telephone - SMS

Over the 10 years of the monitor, the emergence of the internet has had a profound impact on expectations of the format of communication. In April 2000, email was the third most preferred form of communication, with only 16% of Corporate and Coterie members in favour of that method. However, in 2009 it was clearly the most preferred method with 76% preferring to receive information via email. Results indicate a reasonable proportion of members would like to see email replace faxes and letters, with both of these formats declining over the past 10 years of the monitor.

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
Fax was at its lowest at 0%, indicating this method may no longer be viable. Letters declined from a the previous low of 16% in 2005, 2007 and 2008 to only 3% in 2009, so should be monitored in future surveys to see if this remains at this very low point and therefore be considered for removal. 12% saying they would like to receive information personally – one on one in 2009 and 1% saying they would like a personal presentation of information. Overall, results indicate email should be utilised as the main format and that personal delivery of information will always be preferred by a group of coterie members, particularly Sponsors. In 2009, the rating for the format of information remained at the satisfied level at 71 out of 100. In 2009, WAGs (77) and Player Sponsors (70) reported the satisfied level for format of information, while Pivots (63), Sponsors (66) and Gold Cats (69) fell to below the satisfied level. (APPENDIX 6 – CORPORATE AND CORTERIE COMMUNICATION SURVEY)

6.3 MEMBERS OF THE GEELONG FOOTBALL CLUB
This section of the communication report outlines the results of the various surveys that the Geelong Football Club Members undertook. The Members of the Geelong Football Club were said to be „the owners‟ of the club and had great influence and impact upon the decision that were made. Thus their satisfaction and communication with the club was seen to be a vital part in this report. There is something like 40,000 members and they contribute approximately 5.5 million dollars to the club annually emphasising their importance to the club. Among the Overall 2009 results of the „Members Satisfaction Monitor‟ the survey results indicated significant improvements over the last 10 years, with the majority of the main measures that we analysed for the members reaching their targeted key performance indicators (KPIs). MEMBERS OVERALL SATIFACTION: Participants of the survey for this section were asked the 3 simple questions of: 1. How do you rate your overall satisfaction with the Geelong Football Club? 2. How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the involvement of the Geelong Football Club? 3. Do you feel like a valued member? They were then asked to rate them out of 100.

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club

Overall
Overall satisfaction 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30
Feb May Oct Apr 00 00 00 01 Oct 01 Apr 02 Oct Apr 02 03 Oct Apr 03 04 Oct Apr 04 05 Oct Apr 05 06 Oct Aug Apr Nov May 06 07 08 08 09

Satisfaction with involvement with GFC

Valued member?

The members overall satisfaction with the communication, the involvement with the club and the feeling of being a valued member in the May 2009 report increased and achieved the recommend KPI of 83 out of 100 set by the club, which was 11 points higher than the previous 10 year average of 72. Thus resulting in both the overall satisfaction and feeling like a valued member reaching and achieving higher than that of the previous 10 years. The key measures of both the apparatuses where both 11 points higher than the average over the 10 years of the monitor, with ratings at the target KPI of 83 and 81 respectively. The members overall satisfaction was seen to be a major area for the club to target, and with the expectation that it will continue to increase every year.

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
TELEPHONE SERVICE:
Participants of the survey for this section were asked the 4 simple questions of: 1. How would you rate the Overall telephone services provided by the Geelong Football Club? 2. How would you rate the speed of this service? 3. How would you rate the manner of this service? 4. How would you rate the knowledge provided of this service? They were then asked to rate this out of 100.

Telephone Service
OVERALL 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30
Feb May Oct Apr 00 00 00 01 Oct Apr 01 02 Oct Apr 02 03 Oct Apr 03 04 Oct Apr 04 05 Oct Apr 05 06 Oct Aug Apr Nov May 06 07 08 08 09

Speed

Manner

Knowledge

The results showed that the members of the Geelong football club acknowledged the improvements in the telephone service provided by the GFC. The overall Telephone Service that was provided particular to the members of the club reached a KPI for the first time in May of 2009, which was 80. This was an important statistic for the GFC as it gave them a way to measure their direct feedback, one on one to the members, and ultimately how the members perceived this. The Manner and knowledge that the Telephone service provided has been consistent over the past years although speed in decreasing. The speed of answering the telephone scored 75 out of the possible 100 and is yet to achieve the targeted KPI for the past 10 years, despite this it has been constantly on the satisfied range in all but two of the surveyed periods.

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
OVERALL COST AND VALUE OF MEMBERSHIP:
Participants of the survey for this section were asked the 3 simple questions of: 1. How would you rate the overall Cost and Value of the Geelong Football Club Membership? 2. How would you rate the affordability of the membership? 3. How would you rate your Value for Money of the particular membership you purchased? They were then asked to rate this out of 100.

Cost/ Value
OVERALL 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30
Feb May Oct Apr 00 00 00 01 Oct 01 Apr 02 Oct Apr 02 03 Oct Apr 03 04 Oct Apr 04 05 Oct Apr 05 06 Oct Aug Apr Nov May 06 07 08 08 09

Affordability of membership

Value for money

The member‟s results showed that the overall cost and value for money for their particular membership reached its desired KPI for the first time in April 2008 and has since then maintained it at 80, until the last survey that was undertaken in May 2009. It was also suggested that the affordability and value of the membership was an important determinant in formulating overall satisfaction with the club as a whole.

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
OVERALL COMMUNICATION TO MEMBERS:
Participants of the survey for this section were asked 2 simple questions of:

1. How would you rate the overall communication within the GFC? 2. How would you rate the regularity of information you received from the GFC?
They were then asked to rate these out of 100.

Communication to Members
OVERALL 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30
Feb May Oct Apr Oct Apr Oct Apr Oct Apr Oct Apr Oct Apr 00 00 00 01 01 02 02 03 03 04 04 05 05 06 Oct Aug Apr Nov May 06 07 08 08 09

Regularly informed

The members overall communication with the Geelong Football Club reached it KPI of 85 out of 100 in April 2008, and since then has platoed. The members feel as if they are generally well informed and this is also at a steady state of 87 out of 100, but the graph indicates it is rapidly changing and thus this may be an area the GFC would like to look into. The consistent follow of information in and out of the club is an important part for member‟s satisfaction and thus should be addressed within in this communication report.

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
THE ‘WE ARE GEELONG’ YEARBOOK:
Participants of the survey for this section were asked the 4 simple questions of:

1. How would you rate the overall Geelong yearbook? 2. How would you rate the information provided within the year book? 3. How would you rate the relevance of the information and products in the year book? 4. How would you rate the layout of the yearbook? They were then asked to rate these out of 100.

We Are Geelong Yearbook
Overall 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30
Feb May Oct Apr Oct Apr Oct Apr Oct Apr Oct Apr Oct Apr Oct Aug Apr Nov May 00 00 00 01 01 02 02 03 03 04 04 05 05 06 06 07 08 08 09

Information

Relevance

Layout

The members suggested that the move to the Yearbook as a success, and this was supported by the recent ratings of the book at the extremely to highly satisfied level, indicating that this was a positive move forward for the club. The change from the magazine in late 2006 to the „We Are Geelong‟ yearbook has resulted in significantly improved ratings all round. It appears to have been very successful with overall results at 90 out of the possible 100, 10 points higher than the previous average of 80.

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
OVERALL WEBSITE:
Participants of the survey for this section were asked 5 simple questions of: 1. How would you rate the overall Geelong Football Club website? 2. How would you rate the frequency of the updates? 3. How would you rate the information on the site? 4. How would you rate the efficiency and ease of use of the website? 5. How would you rate the graphics and visuals on the site?
They were then asked to rate these out of 10

Website
OVERALL Ease of use 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30
Feb May Oct Apr Oct Apr Oct Apr Oct Apr Oct Apr Oct Apr Oct Aug Apr Nov May 00 00 00 01 01 02 02 03 03 04 04 05 05 06 06 07 08 08 09

Frequency of updates Graphics

Information on site

The member‟s results showed that the frequency of the updates of the website achieved the targeted KPI of 80 out of 100, which is 10 points higher than the 10 year average of 70. The members overall satisfaction with the website achieved ratings below that of the set out KPI (78). Although the website overall has improved over the past 10 years of monitor, with the current ratings only one point below the high level this should indicate continuing improvements should be of focus to the GFC for this communication audit.

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
USE OF EMAIL AND RESPONDANCE:
Participants of the survey for this section were asked 2 simple questions of : 1. How would you rate the emailing service the GFC use (Gee-Mail)? 2. How would you rate the emailing service the GFC uses (Blue & White)? They were then asked to rate these out of 100.

Emails
Gee-mail 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30
Apr 01 Oct 01 Apr 02 Oct 02 Apr 03 Oct 03 Apr 04 Oct 04 Apr 05 Oct 05 Apr 06 Oct 06 Aug 07 Apr 08 Nov 08 May 09

Blue & White

Members suggested that this introduction of the Blue and White collar is an increasing viable source of communication for the GFC. Email access increased to 85%, with 58% receiving the Blue and White email and another 26% receiving the Gee-mail email. This source of communication should be accessed more thoroughly as email is a growing foundation of communication.

(APPENDIX – 7 MEMEBRS COMMUNICATION SURVEY)

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
7.0 CONCLUSIONS
This section of the report details the conclusions drawn from analysing the data collected, outlining the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities which are present at the Geelong Football Club.

7.1 STRENGTHS
 The Geelong Football Club has the advantage of being the only AFL club in the larger Geelong area. The lack of other AFL clubs limits competition there is within Geelong for attracting members. It is generally seen that if you live in Geelong, then you support Geelong. This ensures most of the population of the city will support the club if they follow AFL. Overall, the current members, players and corporate groups were well informed about the Geelong Football Club and generally found the information delivered clear and easy to understand. The club‟s recent on field success over the past 4 years has led to an increase in TV exposure nationally, enhancing the reputation of the club and willingness for corporate sponsors to have their name associated with the club. After receiving the results it‟s clear that the Geelong Football Club has a good repour with members, players and corporate groups.

7.2 WEAKNESSES
 All good things must come to an end, for as dominant as the club has been on field for the last 4 years, the AFL is designed to not benefit just the rich and powerful clubs. With an older playing list developing, and the inevitable slide down the ladder, the club must work hard to obtain all its current members and sponsors. With the recent federal election still undecided, only the Liberal Party has agreed to instantly fund the 3rd stage of the Skilled Stadium re-development whereas Labour have opted to decide to hold its decision until after the December announcement by FIFA of the successful 2022 world cup bid. The players seem to be not very enthusiastic about some off field requirements they are obliged to full fill, over two thirds of the players have no input into what role they can promote the club

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
7.3 OPPURTUNITIES
 The Geelong Football Club needs to further promote the advantages of supporting one of the world‟s oldest sporting clubs and promoting the image of being the only rural Victorian AFL club and locking in as much sponsorship dollars as it can while the team is at the top of its game. The completion of the re-development of Skilled Stadium with the view of hosting AFL finals in Geelong aswell as games for the 2022 world cup. A possible 4th Grand Final appearance in as many years, this has the potential to attract more members and supporters. The use of new media technologies such as social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, these two types of new media can help the club communicate more effectively and personally with supporters.

  

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
8.0 RECOMMENDATIONS 8.1 PLAYERS OF THE GEELONG FOOTBALL CLUB
1. Communicate with players electronically through the use of instant text messaging and email. Communication relating to appearances should be made more frequently than the current process. The desired frequency of information is fortnightly.

2.

3. Provide staff with the tools necessary to improve their approachability, and encourage players to embrace their new skills and approach staff. 4. Listen and work with players to determine the appearances they are most likely to enjoy. By having players complete appearances in which they like to some degree could potentially improve the attributes of the amount of non-football commitments and the amount of club functions appear at which are both rated as below acceptable.

5. By completing appearances they enjoy they might not have as much problems with the amount they have to undertake

Advanced Recommendation:
By supplying all players with a blackberry phone and a rebate for data usage, schedules of player appearances could be individually sent and uploaded to their phone on a weekly or fortnightly basis. This would mean that communication would be at an advanced technological level and achieve a rating in line with the Geelong Football Clubs KPI.

8.2 CORPORATE AND COTERIE GROUPS OF THE GEELONG FOOTBALL CLUB
1. Hold special functions or events before the match on game days where corporate and coterie members can mingle with directors and senior management, even if it only for a short period of time. 2. Provide the occasional (possible one or two per season) mid-week function where corporate and coterie members can again mingle with players and coaching staff as well as directors and senior management

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
3. These functions could provide the opportunity for an issues forum, where corporate and coterie members are informed about current affairs within the Club as upcoming well as upcoming decisions and given time to voice their opinions. 4. Send out a questionnaire email to all corporate and coterie members asking their views on the issue and then follow this up with a feedback email explaining why that certain decision was made. 5. Continue to provide frequent, informative emails about what is happening within the Club.

8.3 MEMBERS OF THE GEELONG FOOTBALL CLUB
Surveys showed that areas that need to be addressed and improved are that of: 1. Speed of answering the phone 2. Receiving memberships items 3. The cost of merchandise 4. Reserved seat option 5. Members were most satisfied with the team‟s performance, providing entertaining football and overall contribution to the community. They prompted that the team‟s involvement within the community increases their public awareness and communication to and from the club, as they generated a higher profiles.

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club
9.0 APPENDICES
Appendix 1 – Team Charter Appendix 2 – Team Meeting Sheets Appendix 3 – Annual Report Appendix 4 – Year Book Appendix 5 – Blue and White Newsletter Appendix 6 – Corporate and Coterie Communication Survey Appendix 7 – Members Communication Survey Appendix 8 – Players Communication Survey Appendix 9 – Group Project Task Form Appendix 10 – Team Effectiveness Form

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Communication Audit of Geelong Football Club

10.0 REFERENCES

-

Datatab, 2009, Survey Results of Corporate and Coterie Groups & Member, Cranbourne, Vic

-

Sheehan, M 2010, ALR279 Public Relations and Event Management, Cengage Learning Australia Pty Ltd, Extract 1

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