David Bohanna; How Rugby Personalities utilise Twitter


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“How Rugby Personalities utilise Twitter to target their publics, and the reaction of the PR Industry"

By David Bohanna Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the BA (Honours) in Media & Public Relations in the Institute of Technology Carlow

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David Bohanna; How Rugby Personalities utilise Twitter

  2. 2. TITLE%! HOW%RUGBY%PERSONALITIES%UTILISE% TWITTER%TO%TARGET%THEIR% PUBLICS,%AND%THE%REACTION%OF%THE% PR%INDUSTRY”% Submitted by David Bohanna 22nd March 2012Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the BA (Honours)in Media & Public Relations in the Institute of Technology Carlow
  3. 3. Acknowledgements!This dissertation has shaped my life in many ways over the last few months; ithas at times been a joy whilst at other times I wanted to be anywhere but at thecomputer (being a technophobe doesn’t help). I have met some great andfascinating people whilst doing it, the rugby stars Bernard Jackman and AlanQuinlan were so helpful and could not do enough for me whilst the PRconsultants Michael O’Keeffe, Marcus O’Buachalla and Miriam Donohoewere generous with their time and responses.It has been a very fast three years and a time I will never forget, along the wayI have made some great friends and been involved in various experiences I willalways remember. I have to thank all my lecturers over this time and I reallydo appreciate those times you gave that little extra and offered encouragementand support when my esteem and belief was low.Finally to my son Oisin, who has always made me proud and so very happy tobe his dad. ! i! !
  4. 4. Abstract!Initially the author looked at the feasibility of researching the subject matterand decided if there was enough material to allow for investigation and if itwas an area of research worth pursuing. The answer to both of these questionswas yes so subject matter was chosen.A comprehensive literary review was then carried out to establish whatresearch had been done into this subject, and from this it was decided on whichpath the author would take. Research methodology was also decided upon andadjusted to suit the overall aims and objectives.Interviews were also conducted with results allowing for overall conclusions tobe drawn and recommendations to be made.What the author discovered from this undertaking was the need for greater andmore in depth study of Twitter and the PR industry’s reaction to it. There hasbeen an uptake from both the rugby and PR industry to the use of Twitter butguidelines are yet to be fully established for its use. ! ii! !
  5. 5. !Table Of ContentsAcknowledgements…………………………………………………….....iAbstract………………………………………………………………….....iiTable OfContents……………………………………………………………….iii - iv1 RESEARCH ....................................................................................... 1 1.1 Title of dissertation ................................................................... 2 1.2 Reasoning behind researching this subject ............................. 2 1.3 Research Objectives ................................................................. 32 INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER ............................................................... 4 2.1 Introduction .............................................................................. 53 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY ............................................................. 6 3.1 Research Methodology ............................................................. 7 3.2 Secondary Research ................................................................. 7 3.3 Primary Research...................................................................... 8 3.4 Intended conclusion from research ....................................... 10 3.5 Bibliography ........................................................................... 104 SECONDARY RESEARCH ................................................................ 11 4.1 Introduction ............................................................................ 12 4.2 Social Networking................................................................... 13 4.3 Twitter..................................................................................... 14 4.4 Twitter & Rugby ..................................................................... 155 FINDINGS & ANALYSIS .................................................................. 20 5.1 Primary Research.................................................................... 21 5.2 Email interview with Michael O’Keeffe.................................. 23 5.3 Email interview with Marcus O’Buachalla ............................. 25 5.4 Email Interview with Miriam Donohoe .................................. 28 5.5 Interview with Bernard Jackman............................................ 30 5.6 Interview with Alan Quinlan .................................................. 34 ! iii! !
  6. 6. 5.7 Findings .................................................................................. 38 5.8 Rugby personalities: ............................................................... 38 5.9 PR Professionals: .................................................................... 38 5.10 Limitations .......................................................................... 406 CONCLUSIONS ................................................................................ 41 6.1 Conclusions ............................................................................ 427 RECOMMENDATIONS ...................................................................... 44 7.1 Recommendations .................................................................. 458 REFERENCES & BIBLIOGRAPHY ..................................................... 47 8.1 References .............................................................................. 48 8.2 Bibliography ........................................................................... 50 !! ! iv! !
  7. 7. 1 RESEARCH!! ! ! 1!!
  8. 8. 1.1 Title of dissertation “How rugby personalities utilise Twitter to target their publics and the reaction of the PR industry”1.2 Reasoning behind researching this subjectThe author chose this subject as it is a relatively new and growingphenomenon which shows no sign of slowing or dissipating. It is an areawhich has an impact on everyone’s lives each and every day be it directly orindirectly. Our lives are now shaped to a certain extent by social media, andsports personalities are becoming ever more vocal and willing to be heard. Wenow have a chance to engage with these personalities on a virtual one to onebasis, they are no longer the distant and unreachable people they once were.The author feels that this needed to be explored further and an understandinggained of how and why this happened.Also because of this upsurge in the use of social media the PR industry has hadto react and adapt accordingly. What are the steps being taken by the industryto counteract any negativity social media has brought and how are they using itto their own and their clients’ advantage. ! 2!!
  9. 9. 1.3 !Research ObjectivesAt the end of the dissertation the author will have questions answered whichwould be of benefit to the publics, sports personalities and PR consultants.The author will find out how PR companies are reacting to the use of Twitterby rugby personalities and the ways in which it can be utilised, also whatmeasures are being taken to counteract any negativity surrounding Twittersuse. The area of using Twitter as a commercial undertaking in our own namewill be examined also and whether there is a middle ground forpersonal/commercial use of Twitter by rugby personalities.Specific questions the author will have answered are:How rugby personalities are embracing Twitter, and for what purposes. How the PR industry is reacting to the advent of Twitter.The future for Twitter in the PR industry.What guidelines and rules are in place to control the use of Twitter. ! 3!!
  10. 10. 2 INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER ! 4!!
  11. 11. 2.1 IntroductionThe aim of this dissertation was to highlight the increased use of Twitter byboth the PR industry and rugby personalities. It is used both privately andprofessionally but these uses often intertwine so the distinction between both isblurred. New media is here to stay and is changing the landscape of PR everyday be it for better or worse. The reaction from the PR industry has beenvaried and some have embraced it more than others, what this dissertationhopes to achieve is to gauge how much the world of PR has changed alongwith the media landscape and what plans are in place to embrace and use thisnew media technology.Sports personalities are also now very much part of the social media andTwitter scene and their opinions, views and daily lives are now moretransparent and open to fans than ever before. Followers of these personalitiesand rugby personalities in particular number in the hundreds of thousands.This opens up the way for rugby personalities to promote themselves and theirviews to their publics as never before. The clever ones have embraced Twitterfrom the very beginning and continue to use it to their advantage at everyopportunity.This has opened up new avenues of revenue to these personalities but also itbrings risks, such as public backlash for some poor performance or amisplaced comment put up in haste. The PR industry therefore needs to workwith these personalities in the work of promotion and PR campaigns usingTwitter while at the same time learning as they go along.It is a time of opportunity, of fast moving news, fickle and fierce opinions anda public that needs and expects to be informed about all that is happening as ithappens. By utilising Twitter from now, and working alongside their clients,PR firms and personalities can expect to find new business revenues, newcampaign structures and greater customer and fan bases. ! 5!!
  12. 12. 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY ! 6!!
  13. 13. 3.1 Research MethodologyResearch can be defined in many ways, “A scholarly or scientific investigation or inquiry.” Or “Endeavour to discover facts by scientific study of a subject, course or critical investigation.” Or “Planned investigation employing recognised scientific methodology en route for explaining issues, solving problems and creating new knowledge that is generally applicable”. (Grinnell, 1993, 4)This would be a good starting point to explain the author’s researchmethodology. There are various systems in place to do any research and eachof them have their own merits, however not all suited the author in the area ofresearch as some are more suited to other fields.The methods the author used in doing the dissertation were a mixture ofqualitative and quantitative research methods. Secondary research consists ofusing already existing information be it in the form of books, online or othersuch forms. This information whilst valuable was not the main source ofinformation for the author as this is a relatively new field and the most up todate information was gleaned by doing primary research.3.2 !Secondary ResearchAs part of the authors overall dissertation there was also a literary reviewsubmitted which the author used as a grounding in research techniques, socialmedia as a communicative tool, the role of the public’s in shapingpersonalities and the role of personalities in the publics everyday life.Some books and websites which the author included are; ! 7!!
  14. 14. Breakenridge, D. (2009). PR 2.0, New Media New Tools, New audiences. FTPressBrown, R. (2009). Public Relations and The Social Web: how to use socialmedia and web 2.0 in communications. Kogan Page LtdJackman, B. (2011). Social Media and The Sports Star. [online], available:http://www.emeraldrugby.com/News/Blogs/Bernard/Social-media-and-the-sports-star.aspx [accessed 30th Dec 2011]Franklin et al., (2009) Key Concepts In Public Relations.1st ed. SagePublications3.3 Primary Research The authors main information gathered was done using interviews  Interviews “With qualitative research interviews you try to understand something from the subjects point of view and to uncover the meaning of their experiences. Interviews allow people to convey to others a situation from their own perspective and in their own words. Although the research interview may not lead to objective information, it captures many of the subjects’ views on something. That’s why the basic subject matter is not, as in qualitative research, object data, but consists of meaningful relations to be interpreted”. ( Kvale 1996)The interviews were carried out with rugby personalities and PR consultants,the interviews were then carefully written so as to allow for the most in-depthanswers which could then be analysed and tied in with the authors otherfindings. The author realised that it was of the utmost importance to give bothopen and guiding questions in these questionnaires so as to get the most honestand expansive answers. ! 8!!
  15. 15. Interviews were done with rugby players Bernard Jackman (ex Ireland &Leinster) along with ex Ireland and Munster player Alan Quinlan. These areactive twitter users both new and experienced and were an ideal base on whichto build the authors dissertation.Some sample questions which were asked of the players and the PRprofessionals were;  Why did you start using Twitter?  What is the reason you are using Twitter?  Have you encountered any problems on Twitter?  Do you see Twitter becoming too much of a self-promotion tool? Interviews, the author believes are the best way to gain the most insight intothis particular topic as it is a relatively new phenomenon and very littleresearch has been conducted on it. The author has gained a unique andfirsthand viewpoint on this from those most associated to it and this researchwas then accumulated to produce a body of work which is be fresh, insightfuland of benefit to those within the sports and PR industry. ! 9!!
  16. 16. 3.4 Intended conclusion from researchThe author after doing all the research, literature reviews and interviews thenaccumulated all the information into a comprehensive, understandable andinformative read which is of benefit of all involved within the sports industrybe it in a professional or purely enjoyable aspect. The author believes that allwho read it will come away with a clearer understanding of how social mediais shaping and changing the relationship between sports personalities and theirpublics and also between sports personalities and the PR industry. The authorhas also gained an understanding of where this phenomenon is going and howit could be best utilised within their own industry. The area of PR and sports isone that has always gone hand in hand and now it is just a matter of adjustingboth to suit each other’s needs and to reflect the changing times.3.5 BibliographyBaban, Serwan M.J. (2009)Research: The Journey from Pondering to Publishing. UWI Press.Agee,Warren K, Ault, Philip H, Cameron, Glen T, Wilcox. Dennis L (2003).Public Relations, Strategies and Tactics. Allyn and Bacon ! 10!!
  17. 17. 4 SECONDARY RESEARCH ! ! 11!!
  18. 18. 4.1 !IntroductionThis chapter takes a brief look at what social networking is how it is used andis changing our everyday lives, its force as a communicative tool and itsconstant changing landscape.Twitter will be defined and its affect will be examined on our culture andsociety, explain why sports personalities are using it and how the public isreacting to its usage by these personalities.The growth in the use of Twitter by rugby internationals will also be studiedand comparisons drawn to highlight the difference in opinion of variousnational teams. There are also five simple rules for sports stars to followbefore they use Twitter. Finally the author will look at Twitter and the rugbypersonality, some issues which are negative about the use of Twitter by rugbypersonalities will also be examined. ! 12!!
  19. 19. 4.2 Social NetworkingSocial networking is the natural extension of the concept of the originalinternet; it really started according to Brown (Brown 2009) in 1995 whenClassmates.com was launched in the United States and in just ten yearsachieved over 40 million users. These social networks have developed intoonline communities and are used by tens of millions of people worldwidedaily. There are numerous different social network sites across the globe andthey are used by up to 500 million people. A major trend in social networkingaccording to Johnston (Stephen Johnston as cited in Breakenridge 2009) is theintegration of the real and the virtual world. Johnston states that microblogging is a form of blogging that allows users to write extremely short text-only blogs, usually restricted to a maximum of 140 characters and can beshared publically or restricted to be read by one particular group, among thesemicro blogging sites are Twitter and the ‘status’ section on Facebook. It is thisnetworking that allows users to interact about common interests, achievementsor ideas. ! 13!!
  20. 20. 4.3 !TwitterTwitter.com explains Twitter as a real-time information network that connectsyou to the latest information about what you find!interesting. At the heart ofTwitter are small bursts of information called tweets.!!Each Tweet is 140characters in length, connected to each Tweet is a rich details pane thatprovides additional information, deeper context and embedded media. You cantell your story within your Tweet, or you can think of a Tweet as the headline,and use the details pane to tell the rest with photos, videos and other mediacontent. You can contribute, or just listen in and retrieve up to the secondinformation. (www.twitter.com 2011)In his book, Brown (Brown 2009) sees Twitter as a personal newswire thatallows users to write a maximum of 140 characters which can then beuploaded by means of SMS texts of from a PC. He talks of twitter as ofconsiderable importance to the future of PR because of its importance inbuilding groups of influential followers and building unique relationshipswithin your chosen groups. The instantaneous nature of it is also veryattractive according to Brown as it allows for an insight into a users everydaymovements and actions.Rio Ferdinand, Man Utd and England football player and Twitter exponentsays; “I just embraced it. At that time I was a bit sceptical of new things and products, but it’s a really good way of interacting with fans and people and shaping your image and avoiding giving a perception out to people ofsomething that isn’t really true through a media outlet that doesn’t really know you...That appealed to me and I’ve started to get a better response, even just walking to the shop, because people see that you are normal”. (British Broadcasting Corporation, Social Media & Sport 2011) As Tom Fox (2008) who writes for Setanta Sports says on the Blog sitesimply Zesty, sports stars today are more accessible than they ever have beenin the modern era. Fans have never had such an insight into the minds of their ! 14!!
  21. 21. favourite athletes thanks to Twitter and many sports stars can be quite prolifictweeters. Like any celebrity status, there is a mystique about sports stars; afervent thirst for more knowledge on them.The benefits to the sports personalities are obvious too as Fox reasons whilstmany professional athletes are genuine fans of Twitter as a tool, how many useit to build their brand? They push you to things like their sponsors andpersonal ventures. The increased accessibility of athletes coupled with thepersonal touch that twitter brings makes it easy for professional athletes topromote themselves and their products. The key is that they don’t simply useTwitter to promote themselves or their brand. There must be some interactionand valuable information in there. Ultimately, sports and social media look aperfect match. Social media provides the platforms where people can share anddiscuss this passion with people of a similar disposition. Social mediaprovides access not only to great sporting content but also to the athletesthemselves4.4 !Twitter & RugbyRugby union is one of the world’s fastest growing team sports and is playedacross the globe by both men and women. It has grown from just a small levelgame to a now multi-billion euro industry. This year’s rugby world cup sawan unprecedented rise in viewing figures and sponsorship.RNZ 2011announced in September 2006 that hosting RWC 2011 will generate more thanNZ$1.15 billion in total economic activity, and pump more than half a billiondollars into the New Zealand economy, according to an economic impactreport prepared by Horwath Asia Pacific Ltd and RWC 2011 is estimated toadd NZ$507 million to New Zealand’s gross domestic product. Recordviewing figures were set as 1.97 million viewers tuned in to the RWC final inNew Zealand and in France it gained a 73% share of the TV audience. (RugbyWorld Cup 2011)Across the world new teams and leagues are emerging as the sport grows andexpands, from the U.S.A to India to England. According to the SportingGoods Manufacturers Association it is the fastest growing team sport in ! 15!!
  22. 22. America and in 2010 the numbers playing grew from 750,000 to 1.13 millionas reported by Tom Geoghegan, BBC News, New York, (BBC UK 2011) andin England it is the fastest growing sport in the country also according to theRugby Football Union. (RFU 2011)According to Michael R.Real (2008 p14-17) the scale of mediated sports isexploding globally and is seen in the rise of sports shows, magazines, internetsites and sports marketing. There is a public obsession with sports that spillsinto our everyday lives and has an effect on how we manage our schedules andsocial lives to interact with sporting events. He also argues that commercialtelevision and its value system of profit seeking, marketing, sponsorship andcompetition have changed the face of modern sports and have led to this newage of sports and media being interlinked.As a natural progression from this we have the age of social media and sportsstars, rugby players have become in their own right ‘celebrities’ and with thiscomes a need to reach their audience. Klapp as quoted in Mediasport (1962p137) states that athletic heroes have degenerated into mere celebrities whilstBarney and Barney (1989 Wenner p137) argues that sports stars becomeheroes because of their performances, morality and social responsibility.Franklin (Franklin et al., 2009) defines celebrity as a person who is widelyrecognised and who commands both public and media attention. Other typesof fame are almost certain to guarantee a level of celebrity, people such asactors, musicians or athletes achieve this.At the rugby World Cup in New Zealand of 2011 there was a newphenomenon, which was Twitter; at the previous World Cup in 2007 it had noteven been launched yet within four days of the start of the tournament Twittermentions had reached 24,000. (John Fell 2011). Management from the various competing countries each had their own way topolice the use of twitter by the players, Graham Henry the New Zealand coachbanned the use of twitter entirely throughout the tournament stating “We ! 16!!
  23. 23. haven’t had a policy up till now, We’ve just asked them to make gooddecisions about that and, in the All Blacks camp, most of the time, they’vemade good decisions, but, at Rugby World Cup time, zilch.” This ploy mayhave added to the success of New Zealand who went on to win the tournament.England coach Martin Johnson considers Twitter a dirty word and has made itclear that any player who steps out of line on a social network may "not be anEngland player for very long." Asked by the BBC whether hed join theTwitterati, Johnson was typically forthright: "Dont hold yourbreath." (Twitter Commandments for Rugby Players 2011). The English teammeanwhile were allowed the use of twitter provided they used common senseand did not write anything controversial, paradoxically the English teamcrashed out spectacularly after one of their worst ever World Cup showings.The Irish team, after agreement with management were allowed to tweet withcertain restrictions in place, Irish team manager Paul McNaughton stated thatwhilst the IRFU had no problem with the use of twitter it was considered that itcould be a distraction to the players and all parties had agreed to limit the useof it around match time. (The Score 2011) This came in the wake of a war ofwords between some tweeters and three Irish Internationals after Irish captainBrian O’Driscoll was singled out for criticism and told to retire by a tweeter,fellow internationals Cian Healy and Jamie Heaslip took to twitter to vilify thistweeter and defend their teammate , @jamieheaslip tweeted “if u gotsomething bad to say, go somewhere else or unfollow...” whilst@ProperChurch (Cian Healy) tweeted “take your negativity elsewhere pleaseor don’t bother following...”. (Joe.ie 2011)Bernard Jackman, former Irish rugby international writes in (Social Media andThe sports Star 2011) that rugby is competing with so many other sports that itis important that the players keep in touch with their fan base, once guidelinesare put in place by management about its use then players are to be trusted inwhat they decide to tweet. Many of the current Irish team are active on twitterat the moment and include Paul O’Connell (Irish Captain), Sean O’Brien, Rory ! 17!!
  24. 24. Best, Brian O’Driscoll, Jamie Heaslip and Cian Healy. (Welsh Rugby Blog2011)Clay Travis, ( Outkick the Coverage 2011) an American sports writer andjournalist has also written on the subject and believes that, every sports star onTwitter is their own news network and the use of Twitter empowers theindividual as no other media tool before. He also would argue that there aretens of billions of dollars in Twitter revenue coming and it is up to each sportsstar and agency to be prepared for this and to work towards harnessing it.On the subject of sports stars using Twitter, Jacob Share (2010) gives his fivesimple rules on which should be followed;1) Know how to use Twitter Accidently sending an incriminating message asa public tweet has different consequences when you have tens of thousands offollowers, and many more fans beyond those. So take the little bit of timenecessary to get comfortable with Twitter on your computer and/or your smartphone.2) Get your Twitter account Okayed by your agent Your agent is yoursalesman. If you might do anything that impacts your value (positively ornegatively) in the eyes of your boss and future bosses, your agent needs toknow, at the very least so they can advise you how to increase your results orminimize the damage. Also, if being on Twitter is very important to you; youragent can negotiate it into your contract. ! 18!!
  25. 25. 3) Get your Twitter account Okayed by team management If your coach oranyone else in management is going to have a problem with your tweets, you’llwant to know ASAP, or else your agent might be called in. They might justhave a policy you need to follow, since many teams really do think players’tweeting is a good thing, within reason.4) Know what the league rules are for using Twitter and then follow thoserules. Your pay may be so high that a €25,000 fine means nothing, but being arich player tweeting about money is guaranteed to make your life worse.5) Do not tweet about anyone else on your team unless they are also onTwitter and can respond. Otherwise, not about your coach, not yourteammates, no one in the organization. This is one time where focusing onyourself and what’s happening in your playing career is really what interestspeople the most. If you want to ruin your reputation with careless tweets,that’s your choice. Don’t drag anyone else in with you. ! 19!!
  26. 26. 5 FINDINGS & ANALYSIS ! 20!!
  27. 27. 5.1 Primary ResearchPrimary research was done using interviews and email interviews on a numberof people. The aim was to discover how rugby personalities are utilisingTwitter to target their publics and also how the PR community has reacted tothe use of Twitter by said personalities.Interviews took place with ex Ireland and Leinster rugby player BernardJackman and ex Ireland and Munster player Alan Quinlan. Bernard is now arugby analyst on RTE and BBC Wales as well as a columnist with the CarlowNationalist, Irish Examiner and a rugby blog post for Betpack. He is also headcoach for Tullow RFC senior team and has written a very well receivedautobiography entitled Blue Blood published in 2010 which reached the bestsellers list in Ireland.Alan Quinlan now works as a brand ambassador for the Ulster Bank league aswell as being a regular columnist for rugby in the Irish Times; he also works asa rugby analyst and pundit for Sky Sports. In 2010 he released his muchacclaimed autobiography ‘Red Blooded’ which charts his rise to the top of theprofessional rugby game. Alan also devotes a lot of his time now supportingthe Positive Mental Health campaign in Ireland with www.leanonme.net. Email interviews were sent to Michael O’Keeffe, Miriam Donohoe andMarcus O‘Buachalla and all three responded very kindly and promptly.Michael O’Keeffe is the managing director of Pembroke Communications inDublin, Michael is an avid rugby and sports fan and among his clients areLeinster Rugby. The specialities of Pembroke Communications include SportsPR and Sponsorship so Michael was an ideal person to contact in relation tothe questionnaire.Another email interview was forwarded to Miriam Donohoe who is the ownerof MD Media, a PR and Media Consultancy based in Kilkenny. Miriam isalso a former news editor at the Sunday Tribune as well as working for anumber of years at The Irish Independent and Irish Times. The authorbelieved Miriam would be ideal because of her background in media and ! 21!!
  28. 28. knowing how sports personalities use the media to promote themselves as wellas her vast experience in the PR industry.Marcus O’Buachalla is a sports presenter on Newstalk, in the Irish Daily Starand commentates on matches for TG4 and 3e. He also works in PR as his dayto day job with contributions to www.irishmediawatch.ie. As such he was anideal candidate to approach for my email interview. ! 22!!
  29. 29. 5.2 Email interview with Michael O’Keeffe(Managing Director of Pembroke Communications)Q1: Are you a follower of rugby players/ personalities on Twitter?I follow a number of the Irish rugby players, Tommy Bowe, Jamie Heaslip,Cian Healy, Rob Kearney and Brian O’Driscoll in particular. I follow LeinsterRugby and other official Twitter accounts.Q2 What are your reasons for following them? I like to hear what they have to say about their lives outside of rugby. From awork perspective it is also important I see what they are doing and how theytreat sponsors. If you are not following, then you may also miss somebreaking news.Q3 Does it allow for personal interaction with rugby personalities/players? Not unless you know them personally. Players do not tend to engage withgeneral public and tend to only follow each other and other sports stars ontwitter.Q4 Would you often engage with the rugby players online?Rarely or NeverQ5 What would put you off following players?Players who put up irrelevant information and become indulgent. I also find“in” jokes off putting. Players need to be engaging, offering interesting ! 23!!
  30. 30. personal insights into how they are feeling before or after a game. What theyare eating or their views on TV shows are not that interesting.Q6 Do you find many rugby players / personalities are becoming toocommercial in their use of Twitter? I don’t think so. In fairness most have stayed away from this. However,Brian O’Driscoll can be quite commercial at times.Q7 Is Twitter becoming too much of a self-promotion tool? It has changed a little from being a personal communications channel to apromotional tool and some sports stars see it this way.Q8 What are the problems facing PR companies who are contracted withrugby personalities who use Twitter?A player who abuses other players, referees or fans on Twitter is a liability.However, a good ambassador contract covers areas like this.Q9 How do you think the PR industry has reacted to the advent ofTwitter?Twitter and all forms of social media are now part of most if not all our mediacampaigns when using sports stars for promotional purposes or promoting anevent or competition. ! 24!!
  31. 31. 5.3 Email interview with Marcus O’Buachalla(Sports presenter on Newstalk, Columnist in the Irish Daily Star andcommentator on matches for TG4 and 3)Q1: Are you a follower of rugby players/ personalities on Twitter?YesQ2 What are your reasons for following them?I am interested in most things sporting and in particular the ins and outs ofbeing a sportsperson. From training regimes, to gear, to diet etc.Q3 Does it allow for personal interaction with rugby personalities/players?Not really. Of all the times that I have reacted to a tweet from a rugbypersonality only a few have answered “Off the cuff” – what I mean by that isthat my question was not part of a planned session of Q&A with fans that a lotof sports personalities do. Of the current players that have replied, BrianO’Driscoll replied with regard to the modifications on his Adidas boots. PeterO’Mahony also replied to a tweet that I sent him. Bernard Jackman the formerplayer is also very responsive. But in general they have the banter with fellowplayers, but little else.Q4 Would you often engage with the rugby players online? ! 25!!
  32. 32. If I see something that interests me, yes. I will retweet or I may even ask aquestion but getting a reply is another matter!!Q5 What would put you off following players?If it was overly commercial – or very obviously being run by a PR personrather than the individual! As someone in the industry they can be spotted amile off…I won’t name and shame!!Q6 Do you find many rugby players / personalities are becoming toocommercial in their use of Twitter?No, not really. I think that most follow the American model and that is fine i.e.using a hash tag to let people know that this tweet is on behalf of a sponsor.But I think that anyone on Twitter should realise that these accounts will beused by commercial entities to raise awareness of their product. It’s the tradeoff I suppose so it doesn’t bother me as long as it is not every second tweet.Q7 Is Twitter becoming too much of a self-promotion tool?It depends. There are some Twitter accounts that I follow that do nothingmore than update when the next event is on, when the next opening is andwhere the product can be got. These accounts are missing the point in myopinion. Twitter accounts should be engaging and informative and need not100% of the time relate to the person or the product.Q8 What are the problems facing PR companies who are contracted withrugby personalities who use Twitter? ! 26!!
  33. 33. Control. If my client sponsors rugby player Mr. X, depending on the level ofassociation between my client and Mr X, the fallout from a controversial tweetcould hit my client. The whole idea of Twitter is that it is spontaneous andfrom the account holder, not from some PR fella in an office, so for that tohappen, the sponsor needs to trust Mr X. This trust is well placed most of thetime as rugby professionals in Ireland are by and large media savvy but youcan see with a lot of the English rugby players tweets and also tweets fromsoccer players, that their level of awareness might not be what a sponsor islooking for. It is no surprise that not many sponsors go near Joey Barton forexample. A recent Irish example of what can happen was the chef RachelAllen who used Twitter (or maybe Facebook) to upload a picture of her after aday hunting pheasant. The issue? The dead birds were placed on the bonnet ofher Audi jeep – a sponsored Audi jeep. And this picture was carried in mostnational papers.Q9 How do you think the PR industry has reacted to the advent ofTwitter?Slowly! Clients and indeed some PR companies don’t appreciate how effectivea tool it can be. The common statement is, “well they are on Twitter (orFacebook) so we need to be”… Once you go live you need to have a strategyand a plan and clearly defined targets for what you/your client wants toachieve. Having an account on Twitter won’t do much for you unless you areactively engaging with people and it is that part that so many PR companiesand their clients are not doing right. The traditional PR world is changing –print media is facing a critical few years – and social media will continue toplay a bigger and bigger role. ! 27!!
  34. 34. 5.4 Email Interview with Miriam Donohoe(Managing Director of MD Media)Q1: Are you a follower of rugby players/ personalities on Twitter?Yes I am even though I am not a major rugby fan. I follow Brian O’Driscoll,Tommy Bowe and Rob Kearney.Q2 What are your reasons for following them?Because they are so well known and because I think it gives me an insight intotheir personalities. I am also curious about how big personalities, whether theybe sporting or otherwise, engage on Twitter.Q3 Does it allow for personal interaction with rugby personalities/players?I have only once personally sought interaction with players - but I have seenhow many do interact with fans which I think is great. It really gives the fan away of connecting with their heroes which is nice.Q4 Would you often engage with the rugby players online?I don’t engage with them as such, I just observe and watch. Although lastweek I did tweet some of the big Irish rugby stars from my MD Media PRaccount asking them to retweet a tweet about the Carlow Tag Rugby Festivalcoming up in June. The club is attempting to break the World Record for mostteams taking part in a tournament with proceeds going to charity. But I got noresponse! I am presuming that is because the tweet came from a PR companyaccount. If the request had come from the Tag Rugby Account they may havebeen more successful. ! 28!!
  35. 35. Q5 What would put you off following players?If they got abusive or overly smart with fans. I haven’t come across that yet!Q6 Do you find many rugby players / personalities are becoming toocommercial in their use of Twitter?No. One of the reasons they are on Twitter is for commercial gain and playersuse Twitter to endorse brands they are contracted with. But I have no problemwith that personally. It’s part of the game!Q7 Is Twitter becoming too much of a self-promotion tool?No its very essence is that it’s a self-promotion tool. Whether promotingyourself, your opinions, your business or your products. That’s what Twitterdoes.Q8 What are the problems facing PR companies who are contracted withrugby personalities on Twitter?I don’t think it’s a problem for PR companies. If they are clever they shouldbuild into their strategies how Twitter can be used to build up their player’spersonalities and profiles and to see how Twitter can be used to deliver forbrands the players are associated with. They should look at it as a positiverather than a negative. Q9 How has the PR world reacted to the advent of Twitter?More and more PR companies are seeing that Twitter is an invaluable (andfree!) marketing tool. I think any PR company that decides to ignore Twitterdoes so at their peril. You simply can’t ignore it in this digital age and most PRcampaigns now build in Twitter and social media as another platform, outsideof print and broadcast, to get the clients message out to a worldwide audience. ! 29!!
  36. 36. 5.5 Interview with Bernard Jackman(Rugby analyst on RTE and BBC Wales)Q1 Why did you initially join Twitter?I was slow to join it to be honest but then found it was a great way to get up todate sports news and links to athletes and high performers that I admire. Istarted following the golfers when Grame Mc Dowell won the US Masters andhad cool photos of boarding his private jet; it was an insight to the world of theelite sportsmen. I just followed for the first while without tweeting but thenstarted to tweet links to interesting articles I had come across about rugby andit became interactive. I started then to chat live to people which felt great andoften took part in group discussions.Q2 Do you have a personal & sporting account? No just my own one in my own name.Q3 Do you find twitter a useful tool for engaging with your fans?It is great for opening up a forum, for example, if I tweeted Ireland are great,and what do you think? I would receive replies and different opinion; it wouldbe boring if everybody agreed. I have gotten business out of it to be honest, Imay have answered someone and next thing they are looking for a guestspeaker. It has been really good to be to be honest but only in a small way, Ihave turned it into revenue and made it work for me.Q4 Do you use it just for personal use or business? Originally it was just for personal use but now because I write for theExaminer and a weekly blog for the betting firm Betpack as well as beingcontracted to RTE radio and television I use it to promote myself. I let peopleknow when I will be on TV and radio and add value to the media outlets that ! 30!!
  37. 37. are using me and paying me, and heighten awareness about my commentaryand punditry.Q5 Does it feel strange having so many followers wondering about youreveryday life? I try not to think about it and I never talk about my family or put up picturesof them, at one stage I had that thing that puts up your location but someonetold me it would be a good idea to turn off that so I did. I do some quickQ&A’s, last week I was coming back from Cardiff after working for BBCWales and was stuck in the airport for two hours so I tweeted did anyone wantto do a Q&A session, so spent the next two hours answering questions, I got alot of followers from Wales out of it. I use it mainly for selfish reasons, that isto boost my own profile.Q6 Have you encountered any problems on Twitter?No but I know some of the lads were getting abuse, Brian O’Driscoll got abusebefore after Ireland lost a game and even last week Conor Mortimer the Mayofootballer who I would be pally with got abused on it. I know a lot of peoplejust go on Twitter to try and get a rise out of people also there was horrendousracism against Stan Collymore ( ex Liverpool footballer), he retweeted some ofthe tweets he received telling him to hang himself because he suffers fromdepression, horrendous. You have to be strong enough to know these peopleare small minded; I wouldn’t let that stop me from using it you know. ! 31!!
  38. 38. Q7 Would you use your twitter account to endorse products?Yes, I have a sponsored car from BMW, Joe Duffy motors so they would sendme stuff that is happening around their garage and I would retweet it. Theyonly have a couple of hundred followers so I do that, also when I was stillplaying I was with Puma so I always mentioned them and I still promote thebetting website and the Examiner things like that.Q8 Do you see yourself staying on twitter?Yeah yeah I will, amazingly we were playing in the Towns Cup on Sunday(Tullow) and by using hash tag Towns Cup I got all the live scores from allaround, I never had that before so for live news it is incredible.Q9 Are Leinster and Ireland coaches giving guidelines for the usage oftwitter?Yeah there is 24hr ban both before and after games, I think it is commonacross all provinces. If for example a guy gets up and says he is sick on Twitterthen the other team knows he is not playing or whatever, and after a gamethere may be emotions if something went wrong during a game somethingcould be said on the spur of the moment or give out about the referee orwhatever. That 24hrs gives these guys breathing space to get their emotions incheck.Q10 Do you see Twitter becoming too commercial and just being a selfpromoting tool?I suppose there has to be a balance, I read an article today which said that youcan buy followers which is crazy and expensive, you can buy 20,000 followersor whatever and people are doing it, Michael Jackson apparently boughtfollowers, I don’t know why he had to!. Listen if I was following someoneand they continuously endorsed stuff I would stop following them, there has to ! 32!!
  39. 39. be a balance, if there is just an odd comment endorsing a product fine but if allthey are doing is endorsing I would not follow them , that is a personal choice,you know?Q11 Some celebrities pay people to manage their accounts, do you lookafter your own?(Lots of laughing) If I was a celebrity I would pay someone, no listen if youhand it over to someone else it is not going to be you, do you know what Imean? ! 33!!
  40. 40. 5.6 Interview with Alan Quinlan(Irish times columnist and Sky Sports pundit)Q Why did you Join Twitter?I joined because I was going to New Zealand to cover the World Cup and I hadrecently finished playing rugby in May. Going into broadcasting and themedia I wanted to know more about Twitter, I didn’t really know anythingabout it ha ha. I knew you could post messages and that stuff so I wanted to letpeople know how I was getting on in my new life as a broadcaster and workingas a commentator for ITV in New Zealand, that’s how it started really, I sent afew tweets from there but got a bit lazy with it. I had heard the other playerstalking about it over the years and going into the media and doing somecorporate stuff I wanted to let people know what I was doing, and what thenew life was about. I don’t tweet about what I had for breakfast I can assureyou.Q do you have a personal and a sporting account or just the one?Just the one account I use because I write for the Irish Times as well so I tweetabout that or what matches I will be covering you know?Q Is it more for personal use then or for your fans?It’s a source of information but I also use it for personal use such as having abit of banter with the other rugby players and people I know as well, I havebecome more confident on it. ! 34!!
  41. 41. Q Do you see or have you encountered any problems on Twitter?No I haven’t actually so far but I can see that being on social media there arepotential problems out there, you have to be very careful what you say on it.Q Would you or have you used your twitter account to endorse products? Not to endorse products but certainly to let people know about what I amdoing or who I am working for, I do a bit of work for Ladbrokes so I send afew tweets and do a bit of promotional work for them but I would send tweetsabout prices they are offering or promotions. Probably not to endorse productsbut talking about stuff I would be doing. So probably promoting myself morethan anything.Q So do you see yourself staying on Twitter?No I will stay on it, it got to the stage where I became a bit addicted to it,reading it all the time and checking what everyone else was saying. I will stayon it but not so much, just a couple of tweets a week or when one of the ladsputs up something controversial I will slag them and stuff like that.Q So what positives has Twitter given you?Well I think it certainly helps me promote work I do and the work with MentalHealth I do, letting people know about work I will be doing with RTE, ITV orSKY and appearances I will be making if anyone wants to meet me and stufflike that. Plus I have a bit of banter with the boys and meet people I haven’tmet in years or talked to so it is a bit of fun as well. ! 35!!
  42. 42. Q Do you see Twitter becoming too commercial and self promoting?I don’t know to be honest, it’s a great way to communicate and you can onlyput up short messages of 140 characters as you know and updates, I was nevera Facebook man and don’t have a huge opinion on it. I follow a lot of sportsstations and give match updates myself and follow them so I think it’s a goodthing.Q Are you contracted to or represented by any PR firm?NoQ Do you envisage any problems for PR firms representing clients onTwitter?I don’t see any problems really you know what I mean? If a company wants touse a player and pay them its freedom, you are free to do what you want onTwitter it’s your own personal account but if you are working for someone andyou promote them its fair game you know? But look you don’t want everyonegoing on to Twitter for the wrong reasons, the reason Twitter is there is to letpeople know where you are, what you are doing, a bit of banter, your opinionson things as well. I see Stan Collymore (ex Liverpool soccer player and nowpundit) does a lot of work for depression and on Twitter as well, I let peopleknow when I am going to be on the TV or radio so if they want to listen to methey can.Q Do you know about any restrictions of Twitter use with Munster?I never asked to be honest but I know with Ireland it is twenty four hoursbefore and after matches so I presume it is the same. Most lads know to checkthese things out and use common sense you know? ! 36!!
  43. 43. Q Is there any media training given to players?Absolutely not, most of the coaches don’t even know what Twitter is, they arenot used to it either, six months ago I didn’t know what it was either only for itwas recommended to me going to New Zealand to follow the lads and playersto see what was going on. ! 37!!
  44. 44. 5.7 Findings5.8 Rugby personalities: Ex international rugby player Bernard Jackman has taken to Twitter in a muchpersonalised way, he used it initially to just follow sports stars he admired buteventually started to tweet himself. He started using it purely for personalinterests at first but realised its potential then. His initial tweets were aboutarticles he had read or information about sport he found interesting. Then ashe became more adept at using Twitter he realised it was a way to promote andmarket himself. Bernard said in the interview that he has often found workthrough his twitter account and uses it as well to build up hype and awarenessabout appearances he will be making or articles he has written.Bernard admits too that he will endorse products on it but believes there has tobe a balance between pure self promotion and being interesting to follow. Thatis why he often engages in Q&A sessions via his Twitter account, it builds hisprofile, gets him followers but also as he says, it gets other opinions because ifeveryone always agreed it would be boring. He is always looking for ways touse Twitter to his advantage and will stay using it as it ‘amazes him’ how itfeeds live news.5.9 PR Professionals:The PR consultants I questioned had very strong views also on the use ofTwitter by rugby personalities. They all followed various players and coachesbut all agreed that in general it was very much a one way street as most wouldnot respond to questions or tweets. There were a couple of exceptions to thisthough; Peter O’Mahony and Brian O’Driscoll had replied once but veryinterestingly Bernard Jackman was found to be “very responsive”. This is adirect link to the way Bernard Jackman viewed using Twitter and ‘playing thegame’ as he said to me when we spoke after the recording, he told me that healways respected the media and the general public because he recognised thathe wanted to enter the world of punditry and media when he retired and peopleremembered how he had treated them.Michael O’Keefee is an avid sports fan and follows many rugby personalitiesboth from a personal interest viewpoint but also for the fact that he needs to ! 38!!
  45. 45. keep abreast of what is happening in relation to PR. He will follow thesepeople as long as they stay engaging and interesting but not if they become toocommercial and use Twitter to just blatantly endorse various products.Michael does recognise though that sports personalities and social media arenow part of the PR world and they need to work together. One of the problemshe does envisage though is the misuse of Twitter by personalities who mightsay something which could be damaging or insulting to a PR firm but he said agood “ambassador contract” will cover that. [Ambassador Agreements arelegal documents that guide the behavior and responsibilities of a corporatespokesperson and the company that he represents]Marcus O’Buachalla points out that there are some accounts of personalitieswhich are quite obviously run by PR firms on their behalf and he has no timefor these. He says that Twitter accounts need to be engaging and interestingand not just commercial or else they are missing the point, he also stated thatthe biggest problem facing PR is ‘control’, he went on to explain that PR firmswho have clients on Twitter have to maintain certain restraint and try and makesure they are media savvy. ! 39!!
  46. 46. 5.10 LimitationsThe author throughout this assignment came across problems both small andlarge, some of these proved to be most troublesome whilst others were easilyovercome. The smaller ones included; finding literature which providedinformation on chosen subject as it is a relatively new area and defining thesearch area and overall topic as it changed constantly as the work progressed.These were overcome by extensive research and allowing greater freedom ofresearch subject, this gave a much broader scope to subject that had originallybeen anticipated.The most pressing problem throughout was finding suitable subjects tointerview and even more difficult was getting in contact and receiving repliesfrom said contacts. Overall the response was excellent when these subjectswere eventually reached and the replies gave great credence to the work. Irishinternational Sean O’Brien proved to be elusive throughout even after phonecalls and meetings, as he was in the middle of the Six Nations rugbytournament. Time and time again the author tried to pin him down but to noavail and eventually when the author managed to talk to him it was too tight ontime.However all these problems were eventually overcome and worked around, ittook just time,patience and flexibility.!!! ! 40!!
  47. 47. 6 CONCLUSIONS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ! 41!!
  48. 48. 6.1 ConclusionsRetired rugby players are becoming very media savvy and have learned toutilise Twitter to promote both themselves and products or companies they areinvolved with. Keeping their followers informed of what they are doing isvital to maintaining their profile and getting new work and followers. It is away to manage their own PR if you will and engage with the publics in a waythey were not able to before. These personalities are now accessible as neverbefore and engage with fans on a much more personal level. The personalitiesrecognise the advantages of Twitter and the need to remain in the public eye atall times both to self- promote and be informative. What they also recognise isthe importance of Twitter as an up to date news feed, with results of matches,sports related happenings and fans opinions being vital to keeping theminformed. When all these things are taken into account the personalities arethen ‘current’, informed and knowledgeable so as to pass this information onto their own and other followers.The PR profession have also embraced social media and Twitter andrecognised the importance of keeping abreast of all new media. It is used byPR consultants for both professional and private interests. The private useshowever cross over to professional uses, as keeping informed and aware ofwho is doing what will be vital in their place of work.Some problems which the industry professionals envisaged are; control ofwhat is said by clients of theirs or someone associated to their client, this canbe difficult because of the spontaneity of Twitter and the freedom of it.Keeping staff and themselves up to date is another potential problem with extratime and resources needed for both. Other companies and clients have also notreacted quickly enough to the advent of Twitter and failed to utilise orrecognise its importance. ! 42!!
  49. 49. The positives to be gained within the PR industry are many according to theprofessionals, first and foremost it is free and available to all to use as they seefit for campaigns and clients. It gives another dimension to PR campaigns andif used correctly can improve the overall campaign to reach a wider audience.It also can be updated frequently and as such allows for the publics to beconstantly informed and aware about what is happening with any given clientor campaign.Overall the author found that Twitter has been embraced by both the PRindustry and rugby personalities along with many others. It is in the opinion ofall ‘here to stay’ and will be continued to be used and utilised to its fullpotential for both personal and professional reasons. It is a two way systemwith information being fed in and received whilst being filtered for whateveruse deemed necessary. Twitter has been adopted by all walks of life andadapted by many for a variety of reasons so it will continue to a vital source ofinformation and news for the foreseeable future according to the interviewees. ! 43!!
  50. 50. 7 RECOMMENDATIONS ! ! 44!!
  51. 51. 7.1 RecommendationsThe author, after conducting interviews with rugby personalities and PRprofessionals has a number of recommendations which could be carried out onthis subject; o Media and social media training to be given to all professional sports persons as this would allow for greater contact with their publics and be used as a base for themselves to work within the media industry as pundits/ journalists when their professional sports careers end. o Appointed spokespersons in each professional team to be responsible each month in dealing with social media duties. This would actively encourage the interaction of players and fans and also create an identity for each player with their publics. o Restrictions to be placed on the use of Twitter and social media by professional sportspersons to allow for full concentration on duties and matches for twenty four hours both before and after games. o PR firms and consultants to embrace new media and technology, this would be in the interest of the PR professionals, their clients and the public. o Training time and monies to be allocated to keeping PR consultants up to date with all new media advances and how to use it effectively in campaigns. ! 45!!
  52. 52. o PR firms need to constantly monitor social media sites to be aware of any news or happenings of which they should be aware. This would serve the purpose of knowing what competitors are doing, of knowing where to aim any future campaigns and trends that are occurring. o PR firms should use Twitter to follow as many people as possible to keep abreast of what is happening in all walks of life and react quickly to any negative comments or happenings instantly. o PR clients need to be kept informed also of all new media and the possible impact it could have on their business or campaigns. There is little point in running a social media campaign for any client who could undo any good work with the push of a button or a misplaced comment. o Further research into the use of Twitter for both professional rugby players and the PR industry is highly recommended as this landscape changes daily and new trends emerge all the time. o Guidelines and rules need to be adapted by both industries to counteract any negativity Twitter could bring. o Governments need to look at the possibility of cyber-bullying being a real issue for its peoples and would need to review how much freedom these sites and its users have.!!!!! ! 46!!
  53. 53. 8 REFERENCES & BIBLIOGRAPHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ! 47!!
  54. 54. !! !8.1 ReferencesBBC. Social Media & Sport. (2011). [online] available:http://www.theuksportsnetwork.com/tag/bbc [accessed Dec 20th 2011]Blog.o2. (2011). Twitter commandments for famous rugby players. [online],available: http://blog.o2.co.uk/home/2011/01/5-twitter-commandments-for-famous-rugby-players.html [accessed on 1st Jan 2012]Breakenridge, D. (2009). PR 2.0, New Media New Tools,New audiences. FTPressBrown, R. (2009). Public Relations And The Social Web: how to use socialmedia and web 2.0 in communications. Kogan Page LtdFell, J. (2011). Social Media And The 2011 Rugby World Cup. [online],available: http://www.freshnetworks.com/blog/2011/09/social-media-at-the-2011-rugby-world-cup/ [accessed 28th Dec 2011]Fox, T. (2010). How social media is changing the sports landscape. [online],available: http://www.simplyzesty.com/technology/sports/social-media-changing-sports-media-landscape/ [accessed 2nd Jan 2012]Franklin et al., (2009) Key Concepts In Public Relations.1st ed. SagePublicationsJackman, B. (2011). Social Media and The Sports Star. [online], available:http://www.emeraldrugby.com/News/Blogs/Bernard/Social-media-and-the-sports-star.aspx [accessed 30th Dec 2011]Joe.ie. (2011). Irish Rugby Stars Involved In Twitter Row. [online], available:http://joe.ie/rugby/rugby-news/irish-rugby-stars-involved-in-twitter-row-0010066-1 [accessed 4th Jan 2012]Geoghegan, T. (2011). Could Rugby Union Take Off In the U.S.? [online],available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14725789 [accessed 28thDec 2011] ! 48!!
  55. 55. Mc Laren, D. (2011). Social Media & Sport. [online], available:http://www.theuksportsnetwork.com/social-media-sport-programme-on-bbc-5-live. [accessed 28th Dec 2011]Share, J. (2011). Twitter for Sports Stars: 5 Simple Rules to Follow. [online],available: http://www.personalbrandingblog.com/twitter-for-sports-stars-5-simple-rules-to-follow/ [accessed 30th Dec 2011]Rowe, David,C. (2003). Sport, Culture and the Media; The Unruly Trinity.ebray.com [online], available:http://0site.ebrary.com.www.library.itcarlow.ie/lib/itcarlow//docDetail.action?docID=10175213. [Accessed 20th Dec 2011]Rugby World Cup, (2011). RNZ 2011 Fact Sheet. [online], available:http://www.rugbyworldcup.com/destinationnewzealand/aboutrnz/factsheet.html. [Accessed 28thdec 2011]The Score. (2011). Rugby stars agree to Twitter blackout. [online], available:http://www.thescore.ie/rugby-stars-agree-to-twitter-blackout-2011-03/[accessed 29th Dec 2011]Travis,C. (2011). 2011 Belonged To Twitter. So Does The Future Of SportsMedia. [online], available:http://outkickthecoverage.com/fsearch.php?cn=twitter. [Accessed 4thJan2012]Welsh Rugby Blog. (2011) Rugby Players on Twitter. [online], available:http://welshrugbyblog.co.uk/rugby-players-on-twitter/ [accessed 29th Dec2011]Wenner, Lawrence, A. (1998). Mediasport. ebray.com. [online] available:http://0-site.ebrary.com.www.library.itcarlow.ie/lib/itcarlow//docDetail.action?docID=10054761 [accessed 20th Dec 2011)Steinar, Kvale (1996) Interviews: An Introduction to Qualitative ResearchInterviewing. Sage Publications ! 49!!
  56. 56. Business dictionary, 2012 [online] available:http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/questionnaire.html [accessedDec 2011] ! 50!!
  57. 57. 8.2 BibliographyBrockmeier, J. (2011). 10 Tips on Using Twitter. [online] available:http://www.readwriteweb.com/enterprise/2011/12/10-tips-on-using-twitter-wisel.php [accessed 3rd Jan 2012]Keane, K. (2011). Twitter feels the heat as rugby stars feel the cold. [online]available: http://www.independent.ie/national-news/twitter-feels-the-heat-as-rugby-stars-feel-the-cold-2865793.html [accessed 28thDec 2011]Mc. Laren, D. (2012). UKSN/ Social Media & Sport. [online] available:http://www.theuksportsnetwork.com/live-event-feed [accessed 3rd Jan2012]RFU.com. (2011). Rugby’s Core Values. [online] available:http://www.rfu.com/TheGame/CoreValues [accessed 2nd Jan 2012]!! ! 51!!