Arizona Rubber

Arizona’s and New Mexico’s Authoritative Voice of Ice and Inline Hockey

AAHA extends reach through social media, Web

 

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A little excitement. A bit of energy. A whole lot of fun.

That’s what youth hockey is supposed to be about in the first place, right?

That also happens to be the backbone of the Arizona Amateur Hockey Association’s (AAHA) new communication strategy, headed up by its social media and Web site director Sharon Enck.

“Hockey is such a fun sport,” Enck said. “That’s really what we’re trying to do here – show how fun it is in new and creative ways.”

From building a committed Facebook and Twitter presence to introducing a completely revamped Web site for the statewide association, Enck has been tasked with bringing all the good that the AAHA does for its member players and associations back to those members – and hopefully, as it grows, to a new crop of players, coaches, parents, officials and other supporters.

While AAHA has worked hard over the years to get necessary information to its constituents whenever necessary, Enck’s presence allows the organization to play offense, so to speak, when it comes to promoting the game and sharing the positives happening within Arizona’s hockey community.

And in today’s tech-savvy, often-social media-driven society – one where attention spans are segmented seemingly more than ever before – Enck pledged to the AAHA leadership that she’d be able to bring a fresh approach to those efforts.”

“People are turning online to get so much of their information – their news, their weather, how grandma is doing in Florida – everything,” she said. “And we’ve got so many different things happening in terms of hockey in (Arizona).

“Say, girls hockey – the AZ Lady Coyotes. I have so many people come up to me asking, ‘Oh, is there girls hockey here?’ I want to change that, so it’s very important to get these things out in front of people’s faces.”

In the few short months since Enck came on board, the AAHA’s Web site – AZAmateurHockey.org – was completely revamped, with new information coming seemingly on a daily basis.

And virtually brand-new identities on Twitter (@AZAmateurHockey) and Facebook (azamateurhockey) were created, too, with Enck’s efforts pushing nearly 1,000 combined likes and followers already.

“This is a great community, and that’s really what I want to build – a community; we don’t just want an audience.

“But it’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon,” she added. “We’ve got a ways to go.”

One way Enck has added life to the social media efforts is by sharing more about youth hockey even outside of Arizona, along with positive hockey news, videos and happenings in general.

“There’s a rule in the social media community: it can’t all be ‘me, me, me,’” she said. “And since this is a hockey community, it stands to reason that our community is going to enjoy reading about the (Phoenix) Coyotes, or about whatever else is going on in hockey.”

As for the Web site, Enck said the reality was that it needed to be organized better – and more inviting.

“The (older) look was very antiquated. It was dark and cluttered, and so many tabs in so many places,” she said. “It just needed a cleanup, and it’s not all done yet.”

Part of that cleanup included an easier-to-use interface for important documents, schedules, contact information and more.

Enck noted that a scrolling news feed as well as direct Twitter feed were also added to show AAHA members and supporters that, when there’s news to share or announcements to be made, they’re on top of it.

Enck stresses that she hopes to continue working with local associations to promote their teams’ news, too, and encourages representatives of those entities to reach out to her so the AAHA can help promote the game any way it can.

“I think it’s just about educating people,” she said. “We’ve to got to get them to realize that they can come back to us over and over again.

“This isn’t rocket science; it’s hockey. It’s supposed to be fun, it’s supposed to be inviting.”

– Brett Fera