We sat down with Supporter Liaison Officer [SLO] Simon Clarkson to look back at his first season in the role, and to get his personal reflections on what he has already described as 'an enjoyable experience'.
“I want to be an enabler, so that fans can contact me either on the day, or even before or after, and I can get answers to questions or give suggestions to the club," Simon exlpained.
"I looked to develop good relationships with club staff to help with that. I attend all the pre-match planning briefings.
"I can understand key messages, initiatives and any issues to relay to fans and, having taken the information, can then clarify key points.
“Nigel Clibbens is very supportive and inclusive, and he ensures I am treated as part of the staff. This is really helpful and the staff have been welcoming, and it shows how everyone at the club wants to embrace the SLO position.
“There has been a significant improvement in social media interaction between the SLO and fans along the way. I try to take the key points from articles and summarise in short, simple messages.
"Those messages are often taken from issues that fans have raised to me. The primary areas have tended to be ticketing and catering.
“I also ran some polls on social media with the fans selecting walk out music, designs of flags and I helped with the understanding train usage for the game at Bradford."
Moving on to how the SLO role can help our travelling Blue Army, Simon said: "Keith Elliott has done an excellent job as the away SLO.
"We know what a dramatic difference it can make for our travelling fans when they know what to expect on our away trips. The club has provided funding for this, again showing a willingness to work with fans.
"Early engagement with host SLO’s can draw out valuable information buried in the ground guides. Whether that be catering options, car parking, road closures, travel or ticket information, we have found that short simple messages go down well with supporters.
"Gathering feedback is key and so far it has been positive, with a significant increase in followers and interactions.”
Possibly the most important part of the SLO role is the “meeter and greeter team” who provide a high visibility role to help fans at home games.
This has been highly commended in the recent EFL Family Excellence award assessment. The club is very keen to see this expand.
Simon added: "I am indebted to the team who have a key role in being approachable for fans around Brunton Park.
"As Geoff and Andrew from the team step down after several years of dedicated service, I am excited about some new team members joining us. We are already planning for season 22/23 and look forward to seeing you all again."
Chief Executive Nigel Clibbens added: "We are very pleased with the progress and the work Simon has done has been fantastic in his first year.
"It’s a really important part of our fan engagement approach and we want to see it go from strength to strength.
"I hope more fans will join in as “meeters and greeters” as they make a big difference on match days. They fulfil a valuable role for club and fans."
If you are interested in becoming a meeter and greeter, please email Simon on email@example.com for more information.