Social media was the latest topic on the agenda during a two-day media workshop between UEFA and its 53 member national associations in Vienna last week.
Around 75 communications specialists attended the event at the Ernst-Happel-Stadion. The workshop was organised by UEFA's Knowledge & Information Sharing Scenario (KISS), which aims to enhance knowledge and expertise across the 53 European associations.
The KISS workshop was designed to underline how best to engage fans via an ever-growing and expanding network of social media channels and manage any problems that subsequently arise. Corporate communication was also under the spotlight with suggestions and ideas exchanged freely over the two days.
Delegates were divided into three groups and attended interactive workshops on corporate communication, crisis communication and fan engagement. Through relevant case studies, the Vienna event showed how sharing experiences and improved dialogue between the national associations can help them get the most out of their own social media strategies and campaigns.
Facebook's Heiko Hebig gave a presentation on the first morning and revealed that 200 million out of the 1 billion monthly active Facebook users have at least a favourite sports team or athlete and that there are also 1.2 billion likes on sports pages. On the second day, Stuart Mawhinney, senior communications manager at the Football Association (FA), gave a unique insight into how they dealt with recent Twitter cases. The Austrian Football Association (ÖFB) president Leo Windtner then addressed delegates before Rob Hughes gave a great insight into how adidas have used Tumblr.
The associations were given sound hands-on advice about how to improve their day-to-day social media operations and maximise their potential reach. Feedback from those involved was positive, with many experienced association media delegates agreeing they had learned new things which would take them forward in their work.
An important aspect of UEFA's mission as football's governing body on this continent is to nurture a spirit of solidarity and equality across the European football family. To this purpose, the KISS programme was launched in 2005, further reinforcing a bond between UEFA and the member associations which has endured over five decades since UEFA was founded in June 1954.
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