Today was a good day for the Celtic fan media as we finally got the club on board for a trial fan media conference which featured the interim Celtic manager John Kennedy and a first team player (it turned out to be David Turnbull) and both faced questions from myself as Editor of The Celtic Star alongside Joe from Video Celts, Craig from Celts Are Here, Harry Brady from Celtic Underground, Keith from The Cynics, Paul from Celtic Fans TV, Joe from the Homebhoys podcast, Tino from The Celtic Exchange and Paul from ACSOM. Apologies if I’ve missed anyone out.
Celtic have been nervous about engaging with the Celtic Fans Media for reasons that are unclear to many, especially as the Mainstream Media guys are hardly renowned for their pro-Celtic bias on anything! We have been lobbying hard for a while to get to this stage and looking around the participants in the Zoom meeting today, if you add together their respective audiences then a sizeable percentage of the entire Celtic support can be reached. We have been making the club aware of the audience figures for the various Celtic websites and then podcast Bhoys have also been doing the same.
No-one is saying that the club should not engage with the traditional media, rather we are saying they should not exclude the emerging new fan media which is probably now bigger than all the newspapers combined in reaching Celtic Supporters.
So what were the club’s concerns and did they prove to be justified? Well the questions were probably of a higher standard that in the MSM press conference that also happened today. David Turnbull truth be told didn’t have too much to say but John Kennedy was happy to provide detailed answers to the interesting and varied questions asked – one each from each member of the Celtic fan media.
This is a brilliant insight on coaching by John Kennedy from today's fan media event. Well worth watching if you want an idea on his footballing philosophy.
(Question by @celticrumours )
"They can do things that we can't coach"
— The Celtic Exchange Podcast 🎙 (@CeltExchange) March 5, 2021
Was there anything inappropriate that could annoy Celtic? Absolutely not. Did either the player or the Interim Manager feel uncomfortable speaking to the supporters and talking in detail about Celtic matters? No they did not.
Was there any attempt by Celtic to lay down boundaries on what could or could not be asked? No there wasn’t. They had been told in no uncertain terms that those days are over.
Did John Kennedy show the supporters due respect with his answers, which were interesting, detailed and more insightful than the banal stuff we are given on a match by match basis when the hacks are asking the questions? Yes he was more open, happy to explain decisions, update on injuries to the likes of Forrest and Barkas and talk at length on each and every question asked of him.
This allows The Celtic fan media to set their own agenda rather than simply pick up on the questions asked by the MSM. Celtic fan media can pick up on the interviews as they are released by Celtic TV on You Tube and Twitter but the questions asked – or not asked – have an impact on the narrative. So today was important and it was a big success for all those taking part. Celtic as organisers have now opened up a channel of mass communication with the support – and that could be crucial in the months ahead as we look at the season ticket renewals and how we support our club through what is going to be a critical stage in our history.
It was good for John Kennedy – who was really impressive and you start to understand why the players are so fond of him when you hear him speak like this.
And it was a good day for the Celtic fan media who now have a better opportunity not just to challenge the MSM agenda but to set it ourselves. Celtic are going to review today to see how effective it was and how as a club they can further engage with the supporters via Celtic fan media. One question asked, by Joe from the Homebhoys Podcast, was about the lack of player engagement at supporters clubs in recent years compared to years gone by and this was something that the club picked up on and gave a commitment to look at to resolve.
You can listen the full unedited version of both David Turnbull and John Kennedy speaking to the Celtic Fan Media earlier today below, courtesy of the Cynics. We’ll carry an article on John Kennedy’s answer to The Celtic Star question about what he learned working for the three managers who delivered Celtic’s second 9IAR.
🎙️ The Press Gang – John Kennedy and David Turnbull
📝 Unedited audio from today’s Press Conference featuring Kennedy and Turnbull.@Ginty1888 was in attendance and asked each a question:
🗣Quality of chances
— The Cynic (@90MinuteCynic) March 5, 2021