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Comm dancing

Two days away from the first PSF and you can feel the excitement can’t you? You can sense the buzz and the anticipation, of everyone chomping at the bit to get back to watching games and ruining your Saturdays with shit performances again.

No, really.

It’s a bit of a subdued buildup isn’t it? In fact, for the last few seasons with the possible exception of last time out, pre-seasons have always come about at the wrong time. The cricket season is in full swing, you’ve finally gotten used to Saturdays to yourself, and in a way you’re thinking “not this again?”

Even I’m not troubling to go to Wycombe on Saturday (though I have an excuse as I’m at Histon v West Brom instead for the NLP) and I expect those expecting a bumper crowd on Saturday will have their first disappointment of the season. But then, PSFs are as much an easing in for the supporters as well as the players.

Part of that is down to TB once again stating that we’ll see two teams of 11 playing. My guess is that Wycombe will do the same, and the second half on Saturday will be everyone saying “who’s he?”, “he’s not bad”, “fucking hell, it’s Hatton again”, and “what’s the score in the test?”. That said, those comments will apply after about ten minutes of the first…

But the distinct lack of buzz is notable. After last week’s euphoria of getting Luton first game, one could be forgiven for thinking AFCW is a bit dead right now. Granted, there aren’t going to be signings right now due to the PFA paying wages of any released player for this month, but even so I would have expected something to whet the appetite.

Admittedly, the CEO going on holiday (which he is allowed to do, believe it or not) hasn’t helped, because it’s left the OS rather dormant. Surely somebody could muster a couple of paragraphs with TB telling us how pre-season is going? Or even something simple like telling people how much it is to get in on Saturday.

One thing IMO we’ve never got right at AFCW is our comms. It’s something you either “get” or you don’t, and somehow I can’t help thinking the club doesn’t. Maybe it’s because I work in the meeja (christ, that makes me sound like a wanker) but I know for a fact how much more likely I am to go to somewhere if I can find out information about it.

Case in point : do you know how much it is to get in on Saturday? Seriously? I’ll tell you – it’s £8. How do I know that? I checked Wycombe’s website. Why isn’t this standard bit of information up on our own one? Yes, it’s a mundane bit of info but for anyone half-tempted to go along on Saturday, it’s a bit off-putting not knowing how much they’ll be stung for.

UPDATE: Turns out it is on the OS after all – see here. But when I was trying to quickly find it, I did look under this exact place and didn’t spot it. Which kind of proves my point in a way – information like this should be easily obtainable. The more you have to search for it the less people will be bothered to look. Be honest, we’ve all done that…

Likewise, some are complaining that they haven’t had any DT meeting communications since the end of the season. OK, the DT doesn’t particularly interest me but it does others. And for an organisation that likes to make big play of being run by its own supporters, it does seem to do a lousy job of keeping said owners informed…

Problem is, and it’s something most of us are guilty of at some point, the people involved at AFCW are a bit too close to things. There’s an assumption that everyone knows everything and therefore it’s pointless telling people what’s happening. Anything along those lines is considered a waste of money, because people know it already. It’s irrelevant to myself as it turns out, but I didn’t know how much it was to get in on Saturday, so how is the more casual punter supposed to know?

And yes, I found it out via Wycombe. But that’s not the point is it?

One thing I was taught in my junior journo days may sound a bit patronising and assumptive, but also a big truism – always assume that the person reading what you’ve written knows absolute jack shit. The club would do well to take that attitude on board. This might be a shock to some people, but not every AFCW fan knows everything that goes on at the club. I’ve even met regular fans who don’t know what the Dons Trust is. Mind you, have you read the DT’s blurb on the OS?

With that in mind, if you read the OS or indeed other outlets of the club without knowing too much about AFCW, I’m not sure if you’d find out a great deal. But then, that seems to sum up AFCW’s comms all over somehow.

Yeah yeah, it’s all volunteers etc etc and everyone works really hard etc etc. With all due respect, we should be moving on from that attitude now. It’s not really good enough when basic information for an upcoming game against League opposition isn’t available because the CEO has gone on holiday. A position that one feels shouldn’t be needing to act as the club’s PR arm on top of everything else he does. Christ, we’re AFC Wimbledon with 2200+ season ticket holders, not a one-man band existing in the CCL.

Anyway, apparently our comms is being looked at, and not before time. It does have a good opportunity in this quiet period to start supplying people with more info, getting them more involved via the power of communication, and turning the casual fan into future season ticket holders. Anyone who’s ever booked tickets with Ticketmaster or Seetickets, or indeed bought a ticket from a “big” club will know that they put you on a mailing list to entice you further. People don’t know everything, they don’t spend their time trying to devour every bit of information. They like to be informed and kept in the loop, mollycoddled almost, it makes them feel appreciated.  I’m not too sure if the club really grasps that.

Now, how about telling us some reserve friendlies…?

UPDATE II : About 50 minutes after this was written, the OS has now put ticket prices up in the main section. Me, I’m saying nothing.