Inside Golf : Inside Golf February 2015
people 42 February 2015 | www.insidegolf.com.au Pulling the (media) strings David Newber y email@example.com BEHIND THE NEWS > SHE might work behind the scenes, but PGA of Australia Communications Coordinator Olivia McMillan is as paramount to the media as a good caddie is to a player. Her job at tournaments, like the Australian PGA Championship, is to ensure journalists receive all relevant information and have access to the players ... sometimes at the drop of a hat. At RACV Royal Pines Resort last December, Olivia was the go-to person for more than 80 journalists, photographers and television crews from around the country. She is not alone at major events and has back-up from National Events Manager Natalie Ritter, Bronwyn Slatter and the PGA’s digital team Matt Hinck and Brenton Jervois. “ We are front office reception, coordinate press conferences, brief television commentators about players and make sure the journalists get the players they are looking for,” she said. For Olivia, that sometimes means a 100-metre dash to the scorer’s office to secure a player. Back at the media centre, she usually kicks off the press conference with a couple of questions before the media hounds take over. “My first ever interview was with Peter Senior at the Australian PGA Championship in 2010 – the year he won,” she recalled. “It was quite nerve-racking, but he’s such a darling and so lovely. “He’s fun, has a laugh and makes you feel comfortable.” Olivia has crossed paths with Tiger Woods and many other PGA Tour stars, but still finds it daunting interviewing players of the calibre of world number three Adam Scott. “It can be nerve-racking sitting next to Adam Scott in front of a room full of journalists and TV cameras, but it’s also fun. “Meeting players like Adam Scott is pretty cool, but I also love meeting all of the young up-and-coming players. “ They enjoy the experience of coming to the media centre and to see the different sides to the role I do.” This is Olivia’s fifth tour season and it’s evident she is extremely comfortable in the role. Still, there are challenges. “ The biggest challenge is time management and jugging different media requests,” said Olivia, who always has a ready smile. “You might have 40 journalists looking to do different stories with different angles so you have to make sure they get the players they want. “I also write for our website and tweet so it’s always busy and never a dull moment. That’s why I love the job. “ The Australian PGA Championship is always really busy, but the different characters in the media centre definitely make it fun. “I think we all work well together as a team.” Olivia credits her manager Nicole O’Farrell (currently on maternity leave) for her success in the job. “When I first started working in golf Nicole taught me everything about running a media centre and Andrew Langford-Jones (tournament director) and Graham Scott (operations manager) taught me an awful lot about the game,” she said. “They would take me out and show me the golf course set up and what they look at as rules officials .” LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: Olivia McMillan gets ready to interview a player at the Australian PGA Championship at RACV Royal Pines Resort. THE NERVE CENTRE: It’s early in the day, but many reporters and photographers are already hard at work. Part of Olivia’s portfolio is to develop the profiles of PGA players and to ensure PGA stakeholders receive maximum exposure. Of course, the job doesn’t become any easier at smaller PGA-run tournaments like the various State PGA Championships. Because many of these events are held in regional centres, it’s not always possible for mainstream media to make the journey. Then it’s Olivia’s responsibility to organise the photographs, conduct interviews and set up phone interviews for off-site journalists. “ They (journalists) may want audio from a particular player so I will do the interview and send it to them,” she said. “I do that a lot with the Kiwi players because the New Zealand media are interested in how their boys are going. “ The players and the media are so good to work with and make the job really easy and enjoyable.” • E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.barnwellparkgolfclub.com.au P: (02) 9713 1162 $99 golf membership INCLUDES AGU HANDICAP $20 RESTAURANT VOUCHER & 2 X HOUSE DRINKS DAILY COMPETITIONS - SOCIAL ACCESS 7 DAYS bArNWell pArK golf ClUb Did you know that all golfers should put an identification mark on their ball? (Rule 12-2) That’s My Ball stamps and markers allow you to do this quickly and simply. Check out our huge range of golf ball ID stamps, markers, accessories and gifts online today. Order Now Web: www.thatsmyball.com.au Phone: 1300 445 054 What every golfer needs to know...
Inside Golf January 2015
Inside Golf March 2015