ORLANDO, Fla – If there’s a player on Tour who understands the power of digital media, it’s Mel Reid.
In December, Reid used Athlete Ally’s website to publicly come out as gay. The Q&A with Reid outlining her decision and her partnership with Athlete Ally was also shared on social media. It elicited support from athletes around the word, including Billie Jean King who responded to Reid’s news on Twitter.
Wednesday, Reid was part of a panel on the main forum stage at the PGA Merchandise Show where she shared her insights into how to best leverage the game of golf in a digital age. Also on the panel was Greg Norman, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, Anne Detflesen, the PGA Tour’s Digital Director of Production, and Brodie Smith, a Frisbee trick-shot artist.
“I like to show people what I do in day to day life,” Reid told the crowd.
Reid uses social media to connect with her fans. She has more than 32,000 followers on Twitter and another 24,000 followers on Instagram. She uses the platforms to give her fans a glimpse into her life both on and off the golf course. But what the three-time European Solheim Cup team member decides to share is a careful decision.
Over the last four months, Reid has posted only a handful of photos on Instagram. In October, she shared a photo with Rory McIlroy following a round of golf with the former world No. 1. In December, there was a post from Wynwood Art District in Miami. In January, she captioned a photo playing a par 3 course in Palm Beach “High tide…high socks.”
“I want people to know my personality,” she said.
Reid warned the crowd against sharing Instagram stories drinking with friends or other content they wouldn’t want seen. For Reid, she has made a conscious decision to make sure her social media accounts reflect how she wants to be perceived: as a professional athlete. With that title comes responsibility, but it also gives Reid the opportunity to help others. Her announcement with Athlete Ally is only the beginning in what she hopes will be continued work with the organization to make a difference in people’s lives.
“We have a platform to make a difference,” Reid said. “I think it’s important to give back.”