After 4 years behind Sportscene and 5 years driving social media for the International Canoe Federation I am back hosting my own content. The new ICFslalom podcast series is available on Apple Podcasts. Originally proposed for the Toyko 2020 Olympics with a test episode from the 2019 La Seu World Championships. This ICFslalom podcast continues through the COVID-19 pandemic.
I continue to post the results of the key international canoe slalom races, including, Olympics, World Championships, World Cup and Continental Championships through 2020-21. Follow @gregiej on Twitter.
Welcome back to the daily canoe slalom Olympic blog. A whole 4-year Olympic cycle and we are back here again.
Welcome to my 2016 contribution that is published on the International Canoe Federation (ICF) website. This is intended to provide the one-stop shop for everything you could possibly wish to know about canoe slalom at the Rio Olympics.
Here is a full listing and links to my canoe slalom articles during 2015. These were posted to Sportscene.tv, International Canoe Federation as well as this blog. Through the year I provided live race commentary on Twitter via @gregiej @planetcanoe and using #ICFslalom.
Here is a full listing and links to my 2015 articles posted on Sportscene.tv during 2015. For live ICF race commentary follow me on Twitter @gregiej. Below you can follow the links to both previews and reviews of the Junior / U23 ICF World Championships, ICF World Cup series and Pan Am Games #TO2015.
If you are an accomplished slalom paddler then good luck this season and alternatively if you are completely new to canoeing then I hope the above post encourages you to pick up a paddle for the first time. Happy reading.
The articles includes interviews with the Brazil team ahead of he Junior/ U23 World Championships, James Cartwright of Canoe-Kayak Canada ahead of the Pan American Games, Paul Owen, British Canoeing Chief Executive ahead of the Senior World Championships at Lee Valley as well as a variety of the top paddlers.
I will be providing live race tweets for the Pan Am Games, Lee Valley Worlds and through the World Cup races using #ICFslalom all season. Follow me @gregiej
Content is king. Creating value for readers requires great content. Creating a continuous flow of high quality content is time consuming although surprising simple. We can see that content that includes photographs, audio and video gains an increasing number of likes, shares or retweets.
Tip 1 – How to make the most of Twitter
Start by establishing hastags for each event or series. I have increasingly pushed organisers to specify their hastag for an event very early on and encourage everyone to consistently use the same hastag. This makes it easier to trend a topic and easier for others to search and follow a specific topic. It is good to see the ICF encouraging use of #ICFslalom for 2015 and beyond.
Keep Tweets short, less than 140 characters so they can be retweeted without losing important links. A good proportion of tweets should contain a link or photograph although not every one.
The art of gaining insightful quotes is asking the right questions. This comes with practice as well as an intimate understanding of the sport and what will interest readers.
Many of the international elite canoe slalom community are on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, which has made obtaining live quotes from athletes at events easier. I try to maintain a balance and not to unnecessarily disturb paddlers mental focus at races. Not every athlete will respond and this is fine.
These social channels have also made it possible to ask the community for a photograph of a specific athlete and request permission from photographers to use their pictures in subsequent articles or posts. Always state to whom the photograph is credited.
Tip 3 – How to create yourself as a brand
You are you own brand and social media channels enable you to control the message. Paddlers and teams can prepare what they might say as a quote and can use those providing coverage for a race to extend their own brand image. Take advantage of this opportunity. My brand is @gregiej
I communicate links to all the articles I have written across multiple platforms, which have included Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. These link back to where the core pre or post race content is posted which has tended to be either Sportscene or my own blog.
Building a following on any of the channels is hard, doesn’t come easy and requires time and patience. However, we know that good content gets shared and so your following will expand. It is incredibly exciting to see highly influential members of the paddler community or media outlets retweet your content to their own followers.
Tip 4 – Plan ahead
For the London Olympics I posted at least once a day which got me to the top of Google searches. I tried to write a couple of days ahead and send questions to current or retired paddlers asking for quotes maybe a week in advance.
I have detailed spreadsheets and analytics of athlete’s results and I have a structure template for the race previews or reviews which allows me to create content very quickly. That said, several articles have been weeks in production before they finally appear on the Sportscene website.
Final tip in planning is to proof read extremely thoroughly. Get help if necessary and cross check spelling, which nation a paddler is competing for, in which class and double check the results.