Tennis Player Outreach Nets Coverage

I had a post on Friday regarding my media outreach about a 12-year-old tennis player named Jordan Belga who trains at Five Seasons Sports Club in Northbrook, Ill.

On Saturday came this Daily Herald feature, which included an interview with Jordan’s coach, Five Seasons tennis pro Jacek Dabrowski.

It doesn’t always work out so nicely. In this case, fortunately, the Daily Herald opted to devote some attention to the club where Jordan has developed his game to the point of being rated No. 1 in the nation. Of course, it helped that when the reporter spoke with Jordan, he talked about Jacek–among other things, sharing that he texted his coach upon learning he’d gained the top spot.

One last note, and something that publicist Peter Shankman taught me through his book, Can We Do That?: Sharing Jacek’s number with the media is important, but sources must be coached to be responsive.

When Jacek tipped me off to Jordan’s No. 1 ranking on Thursday, I reminded him to be ready for phone calls from unfamiliar phone numbers (the media)–and to pick ’em up, if at all possible.

Courting Media With Tennis Phenom News

For nearly two years, starting with George Hood’s two 2007 Guinness World Record attempts at marathon spin cycling, I’ve enjoyed getting the word out about Five Seasons Sports Clubs in Burr Ridge and Northbrook.

Yesterday morning came the latest chapter: a phone call from Jacek Dabrowski, a top tennis pro at the Northbrook site. He had some exciting news: a 12-year-old he is coaching, Jordan Belga, moved up to the No. 1 spot in the United States Tennis Association (USTA) rankings for his age group.

Seeking to capture the freshness of the news (Jordan’s ranking had been published on the USTA website late Wednesday night), I pushed my other work aside and gathered information and photos from Jacek and from Jordan’s mom, Kelly. I quickly wrote a news release and began contacting Chicago-area media in the early afternoon.

You can see the release as it appears on the Chicago Tribune’s user-generated website, Triblocal. And soon, I hope, you will find it in other media.

(Photo credit: Lloyd Clayton,