Barb MacDonald, communications and media consultant for the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance and a roster of other clients, has managed media operations for more than 15 sports at the international level. She is a veteran of several multi-sport games worldwide, and in February attended her seventh Olympics in PyeongChang, Korea as the associate producer, figure skating, for CBC.

An emerging trend that should be on everybody’s radar?

The convergence of all forms of media. One person attending an event for an outlet may be photographing, interviewing, writing, blogging, videotaping and going live on social media. Better systems need to be developed to allow media to tell the story of the event in all formats and platforms.

Advice for improving sports media coverage and building relationships?

See the media as your friend. They are the storytellers helping people to get to know your athletes and driving people to attend events. Give them space to work, to watch and interview. Invest time in getting to know them and building mutual trust.

Favourite part of the job?

Chairing a press conference when a media room is really humming! Reporters are getting the information they need, athletes feel comfortable and there is good synergy in the room.

Proudest moment?

As the media attaché working with figure skater Joannie Rochette and hercoach Manon Perron after Joannie’s mother passed away during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. We provided enough information to the media, yet allowed Joannie the privacy to continue to train. And she went on to win the bronze medal.


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