ALAN Burrows has been Press and media manager for Motherwell Football Club since September 2007.
He actually studied hospitality after leaving school in 2000 and worked in that industry for four years.
He later worked for the Department for International Development (DFID) and Kwik Fit Insurance Services before landing a role with North Lanarkshire Council.
He submitted this on Thursday May 16, three days after Motherwell were named, for the fifth successive season, as providing the best media relations in the men’s Scottish Premier League.
What exactly is it you do?
I oversee the Press & Media Department at Motherwell Football Club – comprising of another two full-time members of staff and numerous volunteers.
It is my job to provide the first and last line of communication with the Scottish Press and ensuring positive public relations for the company.
I am also responsible for the strategy and implementation of the business’s internal media output, including our official website, social media and online subscription service, MFC TV.
The department is also responsible for publications, creative design and football analysis.
What did your working day today or yesterday comprise?
It’s getting towards the end of the season, so the job changes from the normal schedule into planning and preparation for the forthcoming season, particularly as we have another European trip to look forward to in the summer.
However, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a lot happening.
We had our out-of-contract midfielder, Nicky Law, doing an one-to-one interview with The Scottish Sun, set-up to try and counter some of the negative publicity he has had among our supporters after reports linking him strongly with a move to another Scottish club.
I also interviewed, for MFC TV, former Celtic goalkeeper, Gordon Marshall – along with two of our goalkeepers, Lee Hollis and Ross Stewart – reacting to news that our No.1 goalkeeper, Darren Randolph, is leaving for Birmingham City.
We were also working on putting the final touches to our manager, Stuart McCall’s UEFA Pro Licence submission. The creative design side of the department is taking his 10,000-plus words and putting them into a report, before sending it off for printing and submission.
We are also taking the time just now to try and update all of our website with fresh imagery and the updated new prices for our various products ahead of the new season.
Then you have the usual, day-to-day activities such as taking phone calls from either members of the Press or sponsors regarding the numerous commercial contracts we have in place at the club.
How different or similar was it to your average working day?
Most people who do a similar job will probably tell you that football clubs rarely have two days that are the same. It’s such a broad role; it is actually hard to nail down what an average day actually is or looks like. Obviously some days, like a Friday – when we invite the Press to our ground for a pre-match conference – revolves around a single event and those are much easier to timetable.
How different or similar was it to your average working day when you started in post?
It is very different to when I first started. Back in 2007, I wasn’t responsible for the PR / Press relations side of the business. In actual fact, no-one was, other than an arrangement with an external agency to help us as and when required. At that time, my main focus was to concentrate fully on the club’s internal media arm and improving our output.
How do you see the job evolving?
It’s hard to say, really. Who would have said, back in 2007, that ‘social networking’ would play such a role in all our day-to-day lives just now. The invention and widescale use of new technologies, such as smart phones and tablets, have changed the media and communications landscape.
If it continues to progress as rapidly as it has since I joined Motherwell seven years ago, then the next few years could be very exciting indeed. That does bring fresh challenges for the business to try and ensure we are at the forefront of new technology and embracing it as it evolves.
What gives you most job satisfaction?
It may seem a little simplistic, but football. This industry can often get caught up in an off-field soap opera, but actually being at games and our in-house coverage (and trying to improve it) gives me the most satisfaction. When you peel away all the layers, it’s why we’re all here – the sport.
I suppose I can say that just now because the team is performing so well!