Jessica Ennis: me and the media

Ennis talks to PRWeek about her attitude to pushy journalists, her public image and her love of social media.

How does media attention affect your sporting performance?

I keep it very separate, and have management to field all media requests. They know to push back requests when I have competitions, for example.

Do you like talking to the media, or would you prefer not to?

Most of the time it is fine and the journalists are nice. There are a few who are a bit pushy, but on the whole they are simply interested in reporting what I am doing at the time so I am happy to chat.

Tell us about your least favourite media appearances so far

The hardest time has to be when you are injured and you do not want to discuss it because you are trying to come to terms with it yourself. The last thing you want to do is talk about it.

You are considered a celebrity by the press. How do you feel about the cult of celebrity in the UK?

I do not see myself as a celebrity, I am a sportsperson and most of the coverage is linked to what I do on the track. My private life is touched on but that really is as far as it goes. I need my time out of the public eye and value my privacy.

Are digital media - such as Twitter, on which you are active - a help or a hindrance?

Social media are fine if you either manage them yourself or have a good person working on them. I think Twitter is a good way to give people instant information about what I am doing. I also use it to follow what others are doing, particularly in competitions.

From PRWeek's 2012 Olympic Games supplement

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