Focus interview on The Cricket Blog with editor Stuart Peel
The Cricket Blog launched in January, and aims to be a forum for debate for people to express their views on crickets stories of the day.
FeaturesExec caught up with editor Stuart Peel to find out more about The Cricket Blog, how PR’s can be helpful and what his day job is.
You and your blog:
Who reads it and how many of them are there?
The Cricket Blog is generally aimed at ABC1 males with a healthy interest in cricket, predominantly focused on the UK, but with coverage of the sport all over the world. By following the same structure and SEO strategy as The Rugby Blog, the aim is to attract around 50,000 page views by the time the Ashes series starts this year.
What makes you different from other blogs in your sector?
The purpose of The Cricket Blog is to instigate debate and to be a forum upon which people can express their views on the big cricket stories of the day. Therefore we will be posting feature articles which present a particular viewpoint to which people can respond and will also include posts which raise a significant current cricketing issue or topic and invite cricket fans to debate it.
I am a big fan of the history of the game so there will be articles which recall past matches and players and put current series in context. Video clips and photos will also be included and readers will be encouraged to send these in to bring a fun and interactive element to it.
How do you see the blog developing in the months to come?
The premise is that you immediately have plenty to talk about with anyone who shares a sporting interest and all sports fans love to discuss what is going on. I hope that we will achieve a community of regular visitors to the blog who contribute to the debate, leave comments and make their views known.
This is what has been achieved at The Rugby Blog where we have a fairly large group of readers who regularly contribute. There is always plenty of banter flying around but all in good humour.
We hope to have a strong readership by the time the Ashes come round and would love to get some interaction going with some Aussies and Poms having a laugh with each other on the messageboards.
For my part I aim to keep the blog interesting and dynamic with a range of varying and fun content which people will enjoy viewing and sharing my passion for the game.
Why do you blog?
I blog because I love writing, especially about sport and have always had an interest in sports journalism. I also like a good discussion/argument about it and it is a good way to throw a few thoughts out there and see what people think about them. You can obviously do that with your mates but after a while you come to know what they all think about everything. And I’m so opinionated about everything to do with cricket and rugby that there is only so much they can take. Here you get to hear from all sorts of different people coming at things from different angles. And while you may disagree at times, you are all chatting about it because you love it.
Do you work closely with PRs or do you keep them at arm’s length?
We are always happy to hear from PRs if what they have to say is relevant and interesting. It’s a site about cricket, so football related press releases will get no publicity whatsoever!
What information/input from PRs is most useful to you?
Relevant content that we can turn into an interesting story.
What’s the best starting point for a PR who wants to tell you about their client?
Contact James Hutchison – firstname.lastname@example.org
When is the best time for PRs to contact you & what is your deadline for contributions?
We are an online channel, so there are no deadlines! Send us an email at any time, and we’ll do our best to respond in a timely manner.
Do you have a day job?
I work for an accountancy firm and am based in London. It’s not the most fascinating which is why I have side projects like the blogs going. I also play National League rugby at London Scottish which takes up quite a lot of my time.
What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
If you don’t back yourself, nobody else will. I have no idea who came up with that and it might just be an amalgamation of all sorts of things I’ve heard. People will not look twice at you if you look as though you are riddled with self-doubt.
And the person who advised me not to bother going on the 2006-07 Ashes tour as England might get humiliated. He saved me about three grand and a potentially spirit-sapping experience.
A phrase I use far too often is…
‘No worries’. People keep thinking I’m Australian and no one wants that. I also use ‘mate’ too much. I started to do it at university in Freshers’ Week as a get-out-clause when you have met 100 people in a day and can’t remember anyone’s name. But now I can’t get out of the habit and accidentally used it to the managing director of a major client not long ago. He wasn’t all that impressed.
I’d like to have a go at…
Anything that looks exciting. In the past year I have surfed, dived, ice-trekked, paraglided and sandboarded, all for the first time. Skydiving and heli-skiing are probably next on the list. I would love to go to Antarctica, possibly involving a dog-sled. I also spent some time recently working with pumas and monkeys so would love to do some more activities along those lines.
Where do you hope to be in five year’s time?
In five year’s time I would like to either be commentating on Test Match Special or be a rugby correspondent for the Sunday Times. My life would have to veer in a violently different direction for either of these to happen but may as well aim high.
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