Chair of Council Interview with New Chair of Communication and Public Relations

Chair of Council Peter Rogers with New Chair of Communication and Public Relations John Trott

Peter :- Thank you for attending your first Council Meeting last week. We were enlightened following your presentation and thought it might be an idea to share your thoughts with Members.

John :- I am delighted to be appointed Chair of Communications and PR and hope we as a committee can make a valid contribution to the Club.

Peter:- Why do you think the time is right to represent communication as a specific committee on Council?

John: Technology is changing the way we communicate. The golf industry is actively embracing technology. Social Media and World Wide Web are part of every day life. With 920 Members across all categories of membership we need to ensure we communicate effectively taking advantage of technology, as our Golf Club competitors.

Peter:- You don’t subscribe to the term Marketing is there a reason why you prefer communication.

John:- We don’t need to incur costs through unnecessary advertising and promotions “Selling Heswall Golf Club” .The interest in Membership over the last few years would indicate our Club sells itself.! This may not alway be the case however, if we communicate our facilities, fantastic location and social events then word of mouth will do the job for us.

Peter:- You have been involved in promoting the club previously albeit not represented on Council. What did that produce?

John:- In 2013 we introduced Passport Golf, Supported the North of England under 16 Golf Championship. Issued press releases on Rachel Goodhall, Alan Thompson, and featured Heswall Golf Club in a double page in the Heswall Magazine. At the time we were struggling for new members introduced an incentive scheme “ Introduce a friend” which helped to achieve our required numbers. Society income was below budget incentive packages redressed the shortfall.
In 2014 we instigated The Festival of Golf Week with a Mens, Mixed, and Junior Golf Open, Ladies Fashion Show, Sportsman’s Dinner raising £6000 for Charity and part funding the Summer Ball marquee. 2015 we supported the Captains Charities raising £3000 for Mia Austin and £3000 for The Samaritans. 2016 We relaunched our Website with a completely new modern image for the club.

Peter :- Will Members be able to contribute to your committee?

John:- Someone far cleverer than me once said “Feed Back is Gift” We need Members to have confidence in proposing ideas, supporting initiatives and raising constructive criticism. Communication is a two way process we will be conducting market research internally to Members and externally to the local community. The mechanisms to explain how this process will work will be issued shortly.

Peter:- How does the term Public Relations have a bearing on the club.

John:- We have a responsibility to promote Heswall Golf Club in the local Community/County. We have a great deal to shout about! Our commitment to Charity, Environmental Issues and a responsible approach to developing Junior Golf. We offer an unparalleled location for external functions. Sending a message that we are the Club to be part of on the Wirral.

Peter:- So where are you going to start?

John:- Initially we’ve put together a good team with the collective skills set to deliver a professional approach to communications and PR. Jo Lloyd Secretary Manager and Tom Atkinson Professional are spokespersons for the Club, Shay Keogh has the expertise to manage and develop our website along with James Smethurst currently working on his Marketing Masters specializing in Social Media. Barbara Jamieson Ex Lady Captain our go to member on all things golf related.

Peter:- Have you identified any specific areas to get involved in.

John:- A number of things have been identified. The impending PRO AM on 30th May, resurrecting and refreshing Passport Golf. We need to consider opportunities which might transpire from The Walker Cup in Hoylake in 2019. Relaunch the 500 Club Spring 2018. Assist with the promotion of Bar & Catering internally and externally to capitalize on one of our main income streams.

Peter:- So tell us a little bit about yourself.

John:- I tend to think I have been a Member for 10 years, on checking I joined the club in 1996 which makes it 21 years, how time flies! I’ve made little progress in my golf prowess reducing my playing handicap over the years from 18 on joining to 12 currently, let’s hope I can make a better impression in communicating!! I spent my working career in retail culminating as Retail Director of a PLC with 700 outlets. Communication was very much part and parcel of my remit to ensure that precise and consistent directives were sent to stores, listening to and reacting to feedback to ensure customer satisfaction.

Peter:- Thanks John I’m sure Members will have a far better idea of your objectives.

John:- I hope Members find my team and I approachable, reactive and that we add value to their membership experience.

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