From Devon to Rome, our latest Industry Insider made the move to Italian giants AS Roma as Assistant Editor! Take a seat and read all about Lorcan Hankin’s journey in sport so far…
Tell us about yourself, what is your current role and what roles have you done previously?
Ciao, my name is Lorcan Hankin! A recent Media & Communications graduate from Bournemouth University, now living out in Italy where I am an Assistant Editor for AS Roma.
Previously I have worked as the TikTok Lead for COPA90 and also volunteered at Exeter City as a Matchday Media Assistant. I am an avid fan of the Grecians too!
What do you do in your current role?
Currently, my role is leading the TikTok campaign for AS Roma. This involves planning and curating content for the club’s global audience. It is a task I have enjoyed immersing myself in, from hitting 1 million followers at the end of 2021 to now closing in on the 2 million mark! It is great to see the channel thrive! I have also started getting involved with the Instagram and website output, and I will delve deeper into these roles as I continue to settle in.
Having resided in Italy for only five months now, several jobs need doing outside of work. So, I am slowly integrating into the working team whilst balancing out the other tasks that come with moving to a new country.
“Normal” isn’t a thing in sport so what does an “average” week look like for you?
The working week mainly revolves around matchdays and preparing for the next game. For example, if we are playing at home, I will attend the Stadio Olimpico to film pitch-side content and assist with other content for the various social channels. Whereas if we are playing away, I will watch the game from Rome. Although, I am hoping to get some away days under my belt next season!
Between the games, I work from the training ground, where I am either creating content from the game just gone or building up excitement towards the next fixture. The social output is reliant on the recent result, so it always makes it better when we secure the three points!
How did you end up where you are right now? When did you know you wanted to work in sport?
Covid was a blessing in disguise for me and my situation. During my final year at University, my course moved online, meaning I lived at home in Devon. Luckily at the time, my team Exeter City were looking for students to help with the social media output for the forthcoming season. I could not believe my luck and was able to get involved straight away. From writing the match reports to creating content for both Facebook and Instagram, I was able to get involved with several roles due to the size of the team. But one channel I took under my wing was the TikTok channel. A platform that had not been fully utilised yet. The success was better than I could have ever expected, growing from 1000 to 100,000 followers in three months. I thank my colleagues for the creative freedom I was allowed. I probably ended up putting more effort into that channel than my dissertation, but it worked out in the end!
With this experience under my belt, I was lucky enough to find a full-time job with COPA90 after University. It was an exciting role at the time, as they had just partnered with TikTok ahead of the EURO2020 campaign and wanted someone to come in as their TikTok lead. I had success with this channel, growing from 180K followers in June to hitting 700K at the start of October. I learned a lot in a short space of time, especially with the commercial and marketing side of the football industry – an area in which I had not been involved before then.
Funnily enough, I found out I wanted a role within the sports industry when I went on my University work placement with the insurance company Liverpool Victoria (LV=) where I was a social media producer. Although insurance didn’t particularly interest me at the time, I grew significantly as a person, gaining invaluable experience, from being involved with the social media platforms of a high-profile company. This experience was a lightbulb moment, where I realised I wanted to combine my two passions of social media and football.
What is your number one focus when it comes to your work?
For me, TikTok is a great space to create a community, no matter the size of the account. So, community management is one of my main priorities regarding posting content.
This can come in many forms, but mainly by adding personality behind the account so that your audience can connect with you on a more personal level. Whether this is replying to comments or commenting on other users’ videos, interaction with the audience comes first for me. Then the views and likes will follow (hopefully!)
Can you tell us about a time you failed and what you learned from it?
When I wrote my first match report for Exeter City, I was very anxious that it had to be the perfect piece of work, meaning that it took me well over an hour past the full-time whistle to be happy with it.
However, I soon realised that content like this needs to be available promptly after the game for fans to be interested in the article. Here I learned about the fast-paced nature of the sports industry and the volume of content posted on a matchday. An aspect I never fully appreciated as a fan before.
What are you excited about in your industry at the moment?
Regarding TikTok, I feel that there was a negative stigma around the platform and football clubs were reluctant to fully utilise the platform. This has since changed, with clubs now creating more engaging and unique content.
TikTok is a space where you can post content that maybe wouldn’t work on more ‘traditional’ social media channels. Brands are now ‘breaking the norm’ and pushing the boundaries on the platform, which is exciting to see. We are also seeing more players creating innovative content, where we get to see a more personal side of their lives outside of football.
If you could change one thing about your Industry, what would you change?
Taking risks and failing is not always a bad thing. Luckily everywhere that I have worked, my colleagues have been open-minded to new and different ideas. And whilst they don’t always work, at least you know you’ve given it a go and are not hung up on a ‘what if’ moment. This industry is constantly evolving, and you can get stuck in old practices if you don’t take that risk when an opportunity arises.
Sport is a hectic industry, what do you do to switch off?
Since moving out to Rome, I have become the ultimate tourist outside of work. So, when I do have some downtime, you will usually see me exploring the sites or trying to find the next best pasta dish.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to work in the sport industry?
Any kind of experience is invaluable. Whether that be a voluntary role or initially outside of sport, getting your foot in the door will stand you in good stead in such a competitive industry. I have also found that connecting with like-minded people on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram can be a useful tool. At the end of the day, the sports industry is a big community of talented people where we all want each other to succeed.
How to connect with Lorcan Hankin…
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