As any journalist will tell you, it's much easier to report on the news when the people behind the headlines have a willingness to communicate with you.
That sounds obvious but, believe me, there are plenty people out there sitting on great stories that will never see the light of day because they choose not to share said tales with anyone. That, of course, can be for any number of reasons. Laziness, suspicion of the press, or just underestimating the newsworthiness of their items are the three most common reasons. There are countless more and each and every one leaves us writers frustrated.
That's why I think Brian Mair, the secretary of the PGA in Scotland deserves a great deal of credit.
Embarking on his first full season in the post, Mair has already demonstrated a willingness to work with the press. He sees us guys for what we are (a means through which to communicate) as opposed to what other people would have you believe we are (phone-tapping sensationalists bereft of a conscience).
Already this year, I've been to at least four press conferences called by Mair to unveil new sponsors, partners, and tournaments of the organisation he oversees. For those interested, that's around three more than I'd been invited to in the average year by his predecessors.
If only more people were like him, Scottish golf might be in a far better position
He is generating news and, more to the point, sharing that news with the people who can communicate it to wider audiences. In return, he's providing additional value and awareness for new commercial partners and, in turn, his organisation.
It's a simple trick but one that many other key individuals within key organisations get badly wrong. To give you an example, I've been writing for bunkered for over ten years. In that time, there is one key organisation within Scottish golf (which will remain nameless) that I've received less than five emails from. That's around one every two years. Hence, it doesn't get any coverage and, to my mind, shouldn't be even slightly surprised that it struggles to attract investment.
Mair, though, has recognised an opportunity for the PGA in Scotland to do more, be more, and achieve more.
He's combining that business savvy approach with a genuine passion for what he does, which should, with any luck, result in a more stable, more robust, and more exciting future for his organisation.
If only more people were like him, Scottish golf might be in a far better position. If nothing else, our jobs would be much, much easier to do.
Do you agree with Brian Mair's open approach to the media?