Continuing our series of reports behind the scenes, Chris Williams brings us up to speed in the Media Department
We asked the head of each department at Oxford United to review the season and bring us up to date with developments.
Chris Williams looks back at the season for the Communications Department.
“There are so many strands to what we do within the Comms Team but we fell that we have moved forward in so many ways.
“The biggest change online this season was the introduction of the official You Tube channel. The Football League asked all clubs to develop their own club-branded channels this year and we have just passed the 100,000 hit mark for the season. 650 people now subscribe and see each video that we release and that grows with each game. The most popular videos remain the match highlights but having the channel allows us some flexibility - hopefully you will have noticed us embedding video across the website and using it on social media.
The danger was that having a You Tube channel would reduce the number of subscribers to Yellow Player but in fact that hasn’t happened. The key driver to Player is the ability to listen to the matches live, the only place on the internet you can do that. I took a decision last summer to try and change the video content in Yellow Player; to make longer, more in-depth features while adding shorter ‘soundbites’ for You Tube. The On The Road and Preview Show features have been very well received but now we come to a decision - do people want 15-minute shows or two-minute interviews? All the research suggests the latter, so we will be asking the viewers what they want in the next few weeks.
There have been issues - commentary went awry mid-season but we worked hard to fix that, and we are currently trying to make sure that the longer Highlights still appear in Player. We are at the mercy of the league’s editors on that but we have been able to show the youth team and women’s side in some depth this season. The highlight was filming the OUFC Christmas Choir in the city centre and Scott Davies serenading the whole of Oxford with a solo!
We have built the Twitter followers to over 17,000 now and the Facebook and LinkedIn pages are going well. We added Yellow Wall to our online catalogue this season and that forms the basis of the much-improved Mobile Site that went live a month ago. That is an area that needed addressing and should show real growth next season.
We introduced a Digital Download for the match programme this season and that has proved popular. The Matchday Magazine is something we pride ourselves on and being presented with the Programme of the Year award at the play-off final at Wembley was a very proud moment. The Newport programme, where we produced 32 different covers, was a challenge but very innovative, and just wait and see what we are doing with the cover for the Accrington game…
There was further recognition when we were shortlisted for Best Digital Content at the Football League Awards for our ‘This is Oxford United’ film. For a League 2 club to be in the final five, up against Championship clubs with far greater resources, was fantastic . Speaking to the one of the judges (well, in truth, giving him a hard time for us not winning) he said that our passion for the club shone through and that is what we are trying to get across in everything we do. Every game, every moment, we feel privileged to be part of this club and the plans are already in place to build on this season and be even better next year.
For Video Analyst Dan Bond’s review of the season click HERE