Photography courtesy of Mark and Jenny Evans.

september 6 2018

In the media spotlight: Be authentic.

It’s quite rare for modern times, but it’s the way to go when dealing with the media.

This is the advice of some of Australia’s leading business men and women for elite sportswomen to improve their personal brand and public speaking skills.

Co-founder of Minerva Network Sam Mostyn believes women have an advantage over men when it comes to promoting their image and sport.

Citing what she calls “the resurgence of what it means to be authentic”, Ms. Mostyn says men have become “cookie cutter” spokespeople as a result of being “too managed”.

“The women are bringing a whole new positioning of themselves,” she says. “The men find it very difficult.”

Westpac’s head of media relations David Lording shared his top tips during a workshop held by Minerva Network, a mentoring network to support women competing in the nation’s elite sports.

During a panel discussion, he emphasised the importance of sportspeople showing fans a real version of themselves. 

“Be your genuine self,” he says. “If you’re a genuine person and an honest person, that’s just the best way. The worst thing to do not be honest with a journalist.” 

Mr. Lording encourages athletes in today’s digital world to use their voice wisely.

Photography courtesy of Mark and Jenny Evans.

With sport becoming a commercial enterprise for athletes in all fields, to be successful is not only about developing a brand.

Jennifer Peace, Sydney-Based managing director of creative advertising agency Enigma, agrees.

“There’s no point having a brand if you can’t talk about it and discuss it with the world, “she said.

Not fanning the flame on controversial issues was also a big talking point.

Paralympic athlete Madison de Rozario and 2017 Australian Netball League player of the year Sophie Garbin, both young women and Minerva Network Stars, agreed it is important for athletes to take control of their own stories in the media.

They encourage fellow sportswomen to do the same.

The hugely successful second workshop for Minerva Network was attended by 20 of the country’s most successful and emerging young professional sports women.

All of them take time out of their busy training and work life to attend these sessions, and the opportunity to network with some of Australia’s leading business women who are their Minerva Network Mentors.

Photography courtesy of Mark and Jenny Evans.