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Rapids communications implement fan-requested improvements

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They asked. We had many suggestions. Here’s how the club responded.

John A. Babiak - @Photog_JohnB

A couple weeks ago, Colorado Rapids’ Sr. Director of Communications Ryan Madden asked on reddit: How can we improve?

From the original post:

I’ve read – both here and on those other aforementioned platforms – some questions about the club’s commitment to transparency. To be honest, that’s tough to read because the idea of being a more media-friendly, open, and transparent organization is something that this organization has worked really hard on changing over the past year.

I suppose it’s possible that the two issues are being conflated, and that these transparency complaints are more deeply rooted in historical experience, or general frustrations over team performance than they are current communications issues. But in the event that there are real concerns over the way the club communicates and engages with fans and media, we want to help.

So, if you’re reading this and are one of those people who feel this way, let me know (politely, if possible) what your concerns are and how you think we can get better. Let’s have a conversation about it. Just please remember what I can talk about and control is limited to communication, so the tactical and player personnel decisions that make up the bulk of conversation here are well outside of my control.

There were plenty of people who had something to say. At the time this article was published, there were 98 comments. (And I’m sure if you have something to add, it’s never too late.)

Based on the feedback, the club has implemented three changes so far, as outlined in another reddit post here.

These improvements include:

  • Formation graphic. We all hate the alphabetical starting XI graphic and that was made very clear. While the graphic is staying, another image with the formation for the night will be tweeted by the Rapids 10 minutes before kick-off.
  • Injury reporting. There were also many mentions of transparency around injuries. While I think our interview with Head of Sports Science Chad Kolarcik helps shed a little light on the topic, the Rapids will send Burgundy Wave a weekly report to publish (the first one went up this week).

There is also a plan to publish a stand-alone injury report on game days instead of just listing the report at the bottom of the roster notes.

The tricky part about this is that while I am all about transparency when it comes to injuries, the more transparent the Rapids are with fans, the more likely another team can use that information, too. But either way, I think even a simple injury report with basic info. on what’s going on with which guys is helpful.

  • Fan Q&As. Another thing that was brought up multiple times in the reddit thread was that the fans don’t have enough opportunities to ask the club questions. And so the Rapids will be holding live Q&As after each transfer window so that fans can interact directly with Pádraig Smith on a more regular basis. We can expect the first one after the summer transfer window closes.

My hope is that they don’t require questions to be submitted (and therefore vetted) ahead of time like with the STH meet-n-greet, and that this is truly a live Q&A.

What do you think about the communication improvements the club has implemented? What else would you add?