Our latest Industry Insider works in the world of public relations and football. We sat down with Dan Palfrey, PR Manager at Suffolk based side Ipswich Town to talk about his career to date.
Tell us about yourself, what is your current role and what roles have you done previously?
My name is Dan Palfrey, I’m 28 years old and I am Public Relations Manager at Ipswich Town Football Club. I also sit on Ipswich Town Community Trust’s board of trustees.
What do you do in your current role?
My current role is extremely varied. In a nutshell, my main duties include heading up PR and fan engagement for the Club. Alongside this, I also manage our matchday FanZone.
“Normal” isn’t a thing in sport so what does an “average” week look like for you?
No two weeks are the same in football. My week is dependent on our fixtures. If we’re at home, it becomes a much busier week than if we’re playing away. I am based at Portman Road and will begin by planning my week out which usually involves meetings across departments.
The deeper into the week we get, the busier it gets with matchday duties ramping up, which is focused around the matchday experience for our supporters. The FanZone takes up a lot of time to plan activities and refreshments.
An ‘average’ week would also consist of delivering or planning an upcoming PR campaign/activity, I would also have a player undertaking community work during the week. A lot of talking and responding to supporters and supporter groups is a key part of my role.
How did you end up where you are right now? When did you know you wanted to work in sport?
Football has always been my passion. I consume football whenever I can. I first worked at Ipswich Town on a University placement in our Executive Office, I worked hard, kept in contact and was offered a PR Officer role back in 2018, before becoming PR manager in 2019.
What is your number one focus when it comes to your work?
First and foremost, I am lucky enough to enjoy my job, and I want to continue to enjoy my work. With regards to my role, the biggest focus is to ensure our supporters have a family and community orientated football club that they are proud of.
Can you tell us about a time you failed and what you learned from it?
There have been plenty of mistakes along the way, but you have to learn from then to keep moving forwards. A slightly comical one, was sending a player the wrong school for a player appearance. Attention to detail is very important!
What are you excited about in your industry at the moment?
Coming out of the pandemic! The relaxation of restrictions makes my job a lot more exciting, meaning I can do more in the community with players, but also get planning more enhancements to supporters’ matchday experience.
If you could change one thing about your Industry, what would you change?
Online abuse. I really hope platforms will take a stricter stance on this as it needs to change.
Sport is a hectic industry, what do you do to switch off?
I do find it hard to switch off, but I like to exercise, so usually playing football, golf or going to the gym.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to work in the sports industry?
Don’t give up if you’ve been knocked back applying for jobs. Non-League football is thriving and provide good opportunities to work your way up the pyramid.
How to connect with Dan Palfrey…
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