Paul Holliday

Job title Head of Marketing and Communications

Employer Bolton Wanderers

You left Lancashire Cricket Club as communications manager to join Bolton Wanderers as head of sports marketing and communications. What tasks are involved in communications?

When I was at Lancashire, my job was to present a multi-focused and dynamic communications strategy for the cricket and venue aspects of the business that seeks to tactically engage with a broad stakeholder base. Then and now, before I set off for work, I generally have a quick flick through of all the major newspaper websites to look at the sports sections. It’s always good to keep up to date to help with planning when you release news stories, so that you can time them for maximum impact. When I get into the office I then do a quick summary of new articles relating to the business, this is then distributed to the board and senior staff so that they are kept in the loop. I also touch base with local media to keep them briefed on events so that we can maintain a close and beneficial relationship. We then work through our content plan so that we can populate all our digital channels with fresh and engaging content to ensure that there is an ongoing relationship with our stakeholders which will ultimately help to persuade them to buy tickets. I also aim to fulfil as many interview requests for our players as possible so that we can reach wider and new audiences.

You must enjoy working in sports marketing, but does it involve long and unsociable hours?

With a job in sports marketing no two days are ever the same and you can meet some fun and interesting people. Watching the success of a PR campaign unfold can also be very rewarding. But you're right, you are never off duty and it can mean long and varied hours. The weather used to be frustrating when it interrupted the cricket.

What qualifications do you need to succeed in sports marketing?

Some universities do specific degrees in public relations, but a good background in sports journalism is very beneficial as it gives a thorough understanding of the industry. Also qualifications in SEO, analytics and content writing are increasingly becoming more important.

What else would you be looking for in a candidate?

I would like to see someone who has had a work placement at a sports club. Try your luck. Communications departments are crying out for an extra pair of hands. I would also see what experience someone has in terms of work published. Write articles and submit them to websites or create your own blog. I would also recommend you maintain an avid interest in news, specifically the segment you are working in.