- Tell us your story?
My name is Meagan Lechucki – Polish surname that’s pronounced nothing like it spells. I’m a public school graduate and ended up at university, starting in a marketing degree. After four weeks I realised I didn’t like that so went into a professional communication degree. Wasn’t entirely sure of what I wanted to do from there but had an interest in PR and advertising so stumbled across an internship opportunity here because I’ve an uncle that’s worked at Collingwood FC for just over 20 years now. He got me into the digital media department for about five weeks, one day a week. And I did that really enjoyed it but saw the traditional side of media and thought I’d really like the messaging side and issues media management so I asked if I could stay on a bit longer and was here for 9 months. I then went to TLA, a sports agency who specialise in marketing, PR, events and management for a 3 month contract before working at StKilda Football Club. But a job opened up here so I circled back and I’m now the Media Manager at the Collingwood Football Club.
- The Interpreters spend a lot of time trying to understand our clients’ customers and segments within the market. How do you get to know your supporters?
It’s an interesting one. I guess you always hear about the negative things on social media and that can be a really scary way to gauge things. But, we have more audiences than just what you hear on social networks. In my role, you’re dealing with a lot of different stakeholders – you’re dealing with the football department, the media itself and the media as an avenue to reach out to your supporters. The supporters obviously want wins on field. So it’s great when you can deliver that which at the moment but in previous years and when I first started out in 2017 that wasn’t the case. So you get emails from them, you get calls from them and ultimately that’s where you start to learn more about them; frustrations, passions, etc. But it’s more than just team and player performance. A couple of weeks ago when we had Kyron McGuire join us, a young indigenous boy suffering from terminal brain cancer, there was a genuine outpouring of emotion and love, and not just from our supporters, football fans in general. So we’re very fortunate in the sense that we can hear about supporters from a variety of channels and it’s our role to build on all those conversations.
- We do a lot of problem solving at The Interpreters so we’re interested in how other people solve problems. How do you approach problem solving?
It’s a really interesting one because like I said you deal with different stakeholders and they have very different priorities here. For example, what our football department wants generally doesn’t marry up with what the media wants. So for us, it’s a matter of remembering what our priority is and what works for us and then working back and remembering that our priority is to serve the Collingwood Football Club and its interests.
Often our players don’t want to do a whole lot of media but you’ve got to remind them how it services them and the fans as well. That’s one of the problems we need to solve. We remind them that the reason we’re here is because of our fans so by you doing this interview, you’re speaking to thousands of people versus just speaking to one of them in the street which is still an awesome thing to be able to do. But getting to speak to 20,000 of them at once and tell them what we’re doing and how we’re doing it, is really efficient way to get things done and get the message out there. So we approach problem solving by remembering the motivations of everyone we’re working with and trying to get everyone to the same page.
- Interpretation is subjective but a key part of our analysis. We’re always interested in the ways other people might interpret key trends or things of interest from their specialism. How do you interpret in the rise and appeal of women’s sport and the challenges ahead?
It’s a great question. Women’s sport has been awesome for Collingwood Football Club. When I first started interning here, we just had the AFL and VFL team and now we have AFLW, VFLW, netball and wheelchair football. We’re really fortunate that we have a lot of female athletes in here and it’s completely shifted the dynamic in a really good way and it’s working for all the teams being under the same umbrella.
I was lucky enough to work across both AFLW and AFL and seeing their different approaches to media. The girls are so open to doing everything that they can to help grow the game and get more supporters on board. And you’ve really seen that grow over the years which has been awesome because the girls are so dedicated and so committed to what they’re doing. And they’re mostly all working full time so you’ve got to be passionate about it and that’s inspiring. And then you see the support grow which really reinforces that they’re doing the right thing. They’re starting to achieve their dreams and as support grows, it can have a contagious impact.
From a challenge perspective, it’s understanding and recognising that the crowd you might see at Round 1 for AFLW crowd is completely different to what you might see at an AFL game. This is great as you’re tapping into a whole new market that are getting into the game and feeling part of something that is bigger than a game of football, but we need to keep the momentum, make sure that standards are maintained to keep the existing fans but expand to new people.
- Because we firmly believe that Information is Beautiful, we would like to give you a copy of Information is Beautiful, ‘a stunning visual journey through the most revealing trends, fascinating facts and vital statistics of the modern world’. Because first impressions matter, have a scan through and tell us which visualisation caught your attention and why?
I love it! The pictures, the clear tables. There’s a lot of information in here and if you just put it into paragraphs, there’d be absolutely no chance of anyone getting through it. But having it clearly set out like this, you engage with it straight away. You know this means that I’m going to spend the next hour looking through this instead of doing my work!
The one that really stood out was the one with all the faces – visualising ‘Behind Every Great Man … Dictator’s Wives’. It was the pictures that caught my attention first but now you see the clear tables and way of presenting so much information succinctly. I’m a massive fan of tables – if I could use tables in media releases, I would every time.