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Corporate and Specialist PR
SPORTS PUBLIC RELATIONS
Module Leaders: Gerard Choo and Gyorgy Szondi
MA Public Relations
Student name: Uma Datye Student id: 77102166
(Word Count: 4427)
................... Media and Sports Communication ............................... 27 3 ......Index 1..................................................................................... 21 8... 16 6.......................................................................................... 20 7... The business of sports Public Relations and Cross Culture Communication ...................11 5................................................... Public Relations and Communications in Sports ......................... Crisis Management in Sports ............ Sports Marketing Public Relations ...... Cross Cultural Sports Public Relations and Communications ............................ 5 3............................................................... 4 2.................................................................. 7 4................................................................................ Bibliography ............. Introduction ........................
2010. Sports Public Relations and Communication). sports has become a complex commercial enterprise. A co-ordinated implementation of sport public relations through proper sort communication channels can minimise the negative perceptions about sport PR in the minds of the public. but there is still a need to develop the public relations and communication strategies of sport. at the participation end it had become quite sophisticated in marketing its activities to local communities. Even though sport public relations and sport communication is all about relationships. the field of sports public relations and communication is still underdeveloped (Hopwood et. 4 . the area of sports marketing is gradually gaining more recognition and is becoming one of the rapidly developing sectors. 2010. With lots of universities worldwide offering sports management degree. While at the elite end. all. But although sport marketing is developing. Sports Public Relations and Communication) defines sport public relation as a separate form of sport communication since the former is the activities by which relationships are managed and the latter is the modes of media that are chosen. all. Hopwood (Hopwood et.SPORTS PUBLIC RELATION Introduction: There is no doubt that sports have transformed over the last 30 years. Public perceptions about sport PR have been tainted by its past propaganda and its many connotations with spin.
the result of what you do. p.” Hopwood et al. with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour. p. everything you do and everything anyone says or thinks about you” A quick summary of what Public Relations is: The management of relationships The management of reputation The management of goodwill and mutual understanding The eyes and ears of the organisation The instigator of two-way communication between the organisation and its publics It helps the organisation (or individual) achieve its full potential 5 . “Public relations is about reputation . (2009. what you say and what others say about you.Public Relations and Communication in Sports: What is Public Relations? Broom. 17) defines Public Relations as “Everything you say. (2009. online).21) defines Public Relations as “The management function that establishes and maintains mutually beneficial relationships between an organisation and the publics on whom its success or failure depends” According to CIPR. (2010. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organization and its publics. Public relations is the discipline which looks after reputation.
for example. logos. (2007. it is suggested that the term „sport communication‟ be used to refer to the techniques and media which are used in the sport communication process. they help build a feeling of identity towards the team and in terms of sport public relations. p. word signs. Pedersen et al. In terms of sport communication. sounds. Therefore. 76) defined Sports Communication as “a process by which people in sport. songs. or through a sport endeavour share symbols as they create meaning through interaction” The symbols mentioned in the above definition refer to the components which are used in the communication of the sport message. Sports communication is a generic term which needs to be given its individual identity.Sports Communication: Not all sport public relations is composed of communication-based activities. These symbols are hugely important in both. images. they build a strong emotional and relational attachment between the team and its publics. 6 . chants in the stadium or venue and so on. sport communication and sport public relations. in a sport setting.
58 7 . 4.Sports Marketing Public Relations: Sports Marketing Public Relations (SMPR) is a new concept which is an attempt to address the unique requirements of sport public relations and communication. potentially lifelong relationships that people develop with their favourite sports. Another important reason is the strong. participants or administrators. 2010. SMPR is an innovative concept which utilises the best practises from sports marketing. This is illustrated in the „Rugby Ball‟ diagram. emotions. Whether as supporters. individuals expend huge amounts of time. money. __________________ Figure cited in Sports Marketing and Communication. sports integrated marketing communications and sport public relations. pp. Chap. Cotemporary sport is much more than purely making money and this is one of the reasons why SMPR has such an important role to play in today‟s sport business. energy in the pursuit of their sporting love.
However. cited in Marketing the Sports Organisation. promotional communication and transactional communication – which meets the unique needs of the sport organisation.The SMPR Rugby Ball has been designed to show the position of the SMPR within the sport organisation. The internal SMPR environment includes all internal publics to the organisation and is the place where the sport communication functions and operations originate. to communicate the SMPR message on the sport organisation‟s behalf. 97) identified 3 steps in the evolution of an organisation‟s relationships: Creating a relationship Building resource based competitive advantages Developing an maintaining valuable networks. the key to successful SMPR is being able to successfully encourage publics and other intermediaries including the media. 2009. pp. The outside edge of the rugby ball symbolises the boundary between the sport organisation and their publics. The whole range of sport communication tools is techniques can be used to achieve the SMPR objectives. 8 . The external SMPR environment includes all the external publics with which the sport organisation or entity wants to engage for purposes of long term. It represents the potentially powerful collaboration of all sport communication practices and creates the opportunity for true relations communication in the form of relationship creation and management. mutually beneficial relationship building in all its many forms. Morgan (2000.
chap 4. 60 9 . 2010.) Techniques of SMPR Media relations Publicity Publications Corporate Communication Public affairs and community relations Lobbying Sponsorships/donations Events management Crisis management Research and analysis _____________________ Table from Sports Public Relations and Communication. 2010. p.Scopes and techniques of SMPR: Scope of SMPR Raise awareness Inform Interest Excite Educate Generate understanding Build trust Encourage loyalty Generate relationship management outcomes (Hopwood et al.
p.Different between SMPR and Sports Marketing: SMPR is a healthy offspring of the two parents: sports marketing and sports public relations. combining certain elements of that function with sports public relations. (2007. Mullin et al. 10 . This is where SMPR differs from sport marketing. 11) defines sports marketing in the following manner “Sports marketing consists of all the activities designed to meet the needs and wants of sports consumers through exchange process. It is an American sports marketing model which has been widely adopted by sport organisations in the UK. and the marketing of other consumer and industrial products or services through the use of sport promotions” The marketing „of‟ sports and marketing „through‟ sports as highlighted in the above definition have become familiar with people over time. Europe and all around the world. SMPR is grounded in relationships and communications while sport marketing is grounded in monetary transactions and promotions. But the omission of any mention of relationships or any publics beyond those of consumers is very obvious. Sport marketing has developed two major thrusts: the marketing of sports products and services directly to consumers of sports. SMPR extends beyond the boundaries of sports marketing.
. 169) define crisis as “an occurrence that possesses the potential to significantly damage a sport organization‟s financial stability and / or credibility with constituents. Identify the desired behaviour of those publics Sport organisations have been susceptible to crisis for almost a century now. but even the most comprehensive risk management plans failed to protect them against any potential crisis. They are disruptive 3. 11 . Develop organisational positions on issues 3.Crisis Management in Sports: Stoldt and al. 2006. It is only recently that crisis management has emerged as an important area of sport public relations. They are unexpected 2. (2006. p. Identify key publics affected by the issues 4. They lead to allegations against sport organisations Heath (1997.31) has given for essential aspects of crisis management: 1. p. Anticipate and analyse issues 2. cited in Stoldt et al.” Some argue that crises possess three basic characteristic: 1.
p. Managing Organizational Communication. 171) 12 . (2006.Sports Crisis Plan: FORECASTING POTENTIAL CRISIS ASSESSING THE CRISIS COMMUNICATION PLAN DEVELOPING A CRISIS COMMUNICATION PLAN UTILIZING THE CRISIS COMMUNICATION PLAN ______________________ Table from Sport Public Relations.
Flow of information to external publics: SPORT ORGANISATION PERSONAL CONTACT NEWS RELEASES WEB SITE MASS MEDIA FAMILY MEMBERS DONORS. (2006. ALUMNI. FANS. Managing Organisational Communication. __________________ Table from Sports Public Relations. 178) 13 . p. ETC. STUDENTS. ETC COMMUNITY MEMBERS.
Once an organisation is held responsible for an act that is viewed to be offensive. Mortification – which is an admission of guilt 2. Transcendence – which entails defending one‟s actions through appearing to be morally above reproach Hearit also examined a form of apologia. Image repair discourse theory: Benoit (1997) is the originator of the „image repair discourse theory‟.. Hearit defines 3 strategies of apologia that are commonly used: 1. the need for restoration comes into the picture. It makes no difference whether or not the accused is 14 . a defence. 2010. Victimage – which is scapegoating to direct the blame elsewhere 3. cited in Hopwood et al.Main types of Crisis Communication Strategies: The main types of crisis communication strategies are „Apologia‟ and „Image Repair discourse theory‟. It defends the behaviour and denies the actions of wrong doing. but rather. Hearit (1996. In cases of organisational or individual transgressions.128) says that apologia does not involve an actual apology. Apologia: Apologia seeks to defend an organisation‟s or an individual‟s alleged offensive actions while re-establishing organisational legitimacy. p. The aim of disassociation is to separate an accused organisation or individual from charges and claim that the charges are but an appearance and do not represent reality. „counter kategoria-apologia‟ whereby organisations use disassociation and wage counterattacks on their accusers. the accused typically use apologia. The theory is predicted on the fact that image is essential to organisations and individuals. followed by attempting to differentiate the organisation or the individual from the charges.
defeasibility. an apology is made and forgiveness is asked for (Benoit. minimisation. which is simple denial. The fifth and last strategy is „mortification‟. which consists of bolstering. 128-129) 15 . which communicates responsibility for the offensive act. which repairs damage caused by the offensive act and proposed steps to ensure that the act will not happen again. The only thing that matter is that the public view the accused as responsible. p. which consists of provocation. differentiation. transcendence. accident and good intentions. 2010. cited in Hopwood et al..actually responsible. The second strategy is „evasion of responsibility‟. The third strategy is „reducing offensiveness‟. 1997. The fourth strategy is a „corrective action‟. attacking accusers and compensation. There are 5 strategies to the image repair discourse theory. The first strategy is „denial‟.
organisational cultures and climates. public relations work is needed by 16 . Public relations scholars and practitioners have been aware of the importance of global interconnectedness for their work. Public Relations in Society: Public Relations is present at all political. communicative actions. In the course of their work. international politics. I question whether there is such a thing as domestic public relations anymore because of the internal outreach of organisations of all sizes and types as a result of globalisation. role of international organisations or in a country-specific or area-studies approaches or reports of research world-wide. publics and opinion leaders and endeavour to get their organisation into relevant public conversations. p. formation of public agendas and debates and interest group activism. xxv citied in Sports Public Relations and Communications.. p. economic. Public relations is a way of giving voice and identity to an organisation. Sriramesh (2003. 154) pointed out that It is difficult to overstate the importance of a global perspective of public relations practice and scholarship because this profession had truly become a global enterprise. ethnicity. discourse ethics. Within sport. socio-cultural and technological change in contemporary. post-industrial cultures in a globalised world.Cross cultural Sport Public Relations and Communications: Cross-cultural issues in sports tend to emerge in broader discussions of globalisation. every public relations practitioner must have a multi-cultural and global perspective to be effective. Public relations practitioners seek feedback from stakeholders. Public relations is not just about promotion of media relations. although they are the most visible parts of the work.. PR practitioners engage with cultural beliefs and practices.
Culture: Culture is the term used to explain shared patterns of behaviour. sport corporations. Barnett and Lee (2002. social intercourse and personal relationships. sport associations. The emphasis in this definition is laid on the language. p. public relations is involved in the management of corporate culture. rituals. degrees of formality or informality. Language and symbolism are central to public relations practice since the function is responsible for the articulation of organisational views. specialised activities. p. Within organisations. beliefs. references points. 158) says: Culture consists of the habits and tendencies to act in certain ways but not the actions themselves. speech and body language. sport sponsors and sport media. because it is languages that shape interpretive framework. on behalf of sport stars. values. jargon. atmosphere of climate. Culture distinguishes one group from another as expressed through shared behaviour. Culture in public relations: The connection between public relations practice and culture is fundamental (L‟Etang. It is the language patterns. discourse practices.international sport organisations such as International Olympic Committee (IOC). states or ethnic groups but can be applied much more widely to organisations. 2009. cited in Sports Public Relations and Communications. A careful distinction 17 . Culture is not a term that applies solely to nations. attitudes. customs and thought patterning. common values and assumptions about daily living within a particular community. generations and to elite or distinct groups. 166). p. International Cricket Council (ICC). 276 cited in Sports Public Relations and Communications.
media and international publics located in various countries. cultures of no two sports are alike. both public and private sector. (2002. Public relations is involved in intercultural communications between different organisations. current issues and debates will also be mirrored in sport. 169) say Cross-cultural communication is the comparison of face-to-face communication across cultures. intercultural communication and development communication. National leaders use sport to enhance national identity and to endeavour to unify national culture. the rugby culture and cricket culture are different to each other. The concept of culture is of central importance to the operation of public relations practice. Cross cultural communication is a specific form of anthropology that explores how specific cultural environments influence communication. Cross cultural communication needs to be separated out from some other similar terms like international communication. Thus. ethnic and organisational cultures.and grew out of cultural anthropological studies of communication processes in different cultures. Organisations. Sport is also a sub-culture or micro-culture element of national. Cross-cultural communication: Gudykunst and Mody.should be drawn between the notion practice of corporate culture and organisational culture. And since sports reflects many of the dominant culture‟s features.. also utilize sports as a form of public relations to enhance employee relations. some of which may require public relations management. ix cited in Sports Public Relations and Communications. p. values. Culture in Sports: Each different sport has its own culture arising from its history.. p. practices. 18 . A cross cultural communications approach to sport public relations requires us to understand political. For example. etc.
gut-wrenchingly frustrating and hugely moving‟. sports may be used by political ends. which. 170) believes that International communication describes communications.economic and social history and international relations which frame the emergence of sport in different cultural contexts. Corporations may use sport as a means of corporate diplomacy. (2002 cited in Sports Public Relations and Communications. state diplomacy and public diplomacy – a feature of international relations. One example of this has been the second Sports and Peach Conference held in December 2008 in Monaco. as a way of enhancing relationships with external groups in areas of strategic business or marketing interest. Bramam. In other words. according to Kevin Roberts (Editor of Sport Business International) was „life affirming. p. which arise as a part of international politics. International organisations or movements may also seek to communicate their messages through sport. to boost a nation‟s pride and confidence and also to enhance the national identity and unify the country to a common cause. 19 . Both public diplomacy and corporate diplomacy are terms which describe a strategic form of public relations – where public relations actions is driven by management policy to prioritize reputation management and embark of „hearts and minds‟ campaigns.
Long term strategic public relations has a considerable role to play in developing and enhancing business relationships well in advance of any propositions. Sport PR has not yet reached its potential and is still limited in amny cases to the tactical technical level. but has an acknowledged role in the activation of sport sponsorship. 20 . media and advertisers.The business of sport and cross cultural communication: Sport is a massive international business that sells sports events. corporate social responsibility and in media relations and promotional publicity (L‟Etang. in corporate hospitality and luxury PR. p. act local‟. Globalisation of the sport business also requires sensitivity in terms of local markets and the requirements to „think global. Public relations is often seen as a part of marketing and integrated communications. 2009 cited in Sports Public Relations and Communications. in celebrity media relations in even managements. 176). products and services to sponsors. To practice public relations in sport business requires a close knowledge of sport business and international business and not just of sport.
New Communication Media for Sport: There has been an evolution of media in the context of Public Relations and Communications in sport over the last 20 years. which has led to the mantra of „think global. levels of economic development. Digital TV and online coverage had widened the opportunities to view and download coverage. gate keeping practices and source-media relations and practices vary across cultures. 2006. act local‟. In sport. International media are also crucial in the portrayal of different nations with developing countries being presented less favourably. at least for those in developed nations. the extent of activism or single-issue public relations activity. regulation and control. (Stoldt et al. the legal system.. Sport media is a big international business and is driven by commercial imperatives and profits. editorial freedom. Cross cultural variance in media practices depends upon political systems. p. 222) 21 . international communication is instigated by international sport organisations but is realised through the global sport media market. Most sport organisations now have an internet presence and maintain websites for variety of purposes. It is a new platform for disseminating and accessing information in the blink of the eye. ownerships. It is for this reason that effective intercultural communication draws on the combination of global resources and local knowledge. The internet has created an entirely new communication alternative and accelerated the communications process drastically.Media and sports communication: A challenge for public relations practitioners operating internationally is that media structures.
For many years.The media and SPRC connection: The role of SPRC is being more and more recognised as a major element in the overall strategy of sport organisations (Hopwood. The SPRC function has been established very much as the public face of the organisation. and a first port of call for the media. lasted for over a century. the benefits of the internet are: Global reach Direct communication between organisations Greater interactivity and feedback Opportunities of interaction between real world and virtual world Lower cost of communication 22 . From the specialist PR view. SPRC has traditionally been seen as a function limited to ensuring that the organisation gets favourable coverage in the press and television media and is the main reactive function when any crisis occurs between the sporting organisation and the publics. and the most favourable opinion created and maintained. The internet has become an increasingly important link between sport organisations and their constituencies. As a communication medium. 2007a cited in Sports Public Relations and Communications. The internet‟s capacities make it a valuable asset for various public relations practitioners and they attempt to establish and maintain relationships with their publics. thus playing a critical role in maintaining the symbiotic relationship between sport and public media that has now. it is only logical that the internet has potential as an important tool for public relations. we look at the impact the internet has had on sports marketing with a specific reference to the SPRC role. Further. p. The media have been cultivated and managed so that news about the organisation should be published. 188).
24/7 availability Speed of information provision and change Adaptability and customisability for different sectors of the market From the sports marketing perspective. then the impact of SPRC management and practice will be profound. 201) stated that the future of web 2. 2008 cited in Sports Public Relations and Communications. If the premise behind the growth of social media is that marketing can no longer be divided into functional areas of expertise.0 means the imminent collapse of marketing. websites could be positioned to support: Product information and key messages Sport promotion Capturing customer information Database marketing Support of transactions and commerce such as tickets and merchandise sales Direct advertising Sponsor sales and relationships Market survey Cost reduction of marketing activities Customer service Importance of social media: (Scott. The arrival of the new web paradigm may be an opportunity for sport PR managers to utilise expertise and knowledge of how the media is evolving to take a 23 . Solis. p. PR and even customer service into a single integrated relationship focused communication path with customers. 2007.
Deirdre Breakenridge. Expertise in this area will be less concerned with immediate exchange based objectives and more with long term nurturing and development of both the relationships between the organisations and the stakeholder.0 summarises what consumers believe they want form social media interactions with organisations: Receive direct unmediated communications Have easy access to information about the products and services on offer Be able to ask questions and get answers about products and services Get quick responses for enquiries Hear a voice form the organisation on issues which affect the organisation‟s wider environment Believe they can trust the people from the organisation Drive and control their communications with the organisations Know how other people feel about the organisation‟s products and services Interact with people who have same viewpoints Easily access and share information Discuss viewpoints and interests on a number of issues Create information and content within an open forum The one thing that has changed about the sport marketplace is the rise of the youth which has grown up without experience of traditional TV and press dependence for sport. 24 .leadership role in the development of relationship-based approaches to the stakeholder base for the supporting organisation. in her book PR 2. Social media demands an understanding of how organisations will interact in a continuing dialogue between themselves and their stakeholders – from fans to community to sponsors to internal staff.
It just means that the ethos of social media will get integrated into how communications and interactions with stakeholders will take place in the future. This is true for sport organisations which do not enjoy major television coverage. the likely benefits of adapting to social media are: More direct interaction with fans and stakeholders Greater information on key issues faced by their audience 25 . For the sport organisations.The 13-24 generation spend over 50% of their internet time on user-generated content sites while it is 35% for 25-41 generation and 27% for the 42-60 generation (GET FIGURES CHEKCED AS PER 2010 OR 2011). They will also be at the forefront of interpreting user needs and requirements as they change over time. an opportunity and a treat. For sport this is both. or who are trying to reach out to the community at large to promote and develop sport participation. Developing communication with the customers and stakeholders in the social media world has operational benefits over traditional media – it is the preferred way for target customers to interact with the sport and it can be a far lower cost and wider reach medium that traditional promotional alternatives. SPRC and Social Media: The new media available to sport organisations provides a challenge and opportunity to harness and new mode of communication through a more direct and participative approach to building relationships. The sport that manages to master social media to build and sustain relationships with their target audience will be better placed to enjoy the trust built up with that community. In these cases bloggers become journalists. This does not mean that new media will replace traditional media. An additional factor is that sponsor brands are far more advanced in the use of social media as they develop strategies for engaging competitively in the marketplace against other brands and seek to build up new and loyal brand value.
Ability to gain knowledge about stakeholder base Ability to reach to people over a wider reach Ability to develop a fan following and fan loyalty Ability to link organisation and its massages to other websites Ability to generate greater coverage and awareness Allows organisation to consider differentiated and a more direct approach Fake IPL player: For example. a team in the IPL. the blog was anonymous and the blogger claimed to be a member of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). (Anonymous. under whose guidance Australia maintained its No. The blogger constantly kept blogging about all the incidences regularly. the same time as the second season of the Indian Premier League. This blog gave rise to many problems within the team. Two of KKRs players were sent home mid way through the tournament which made the public wonder if they were the bloggers. a blog was created named „The Fake IPL Player‟. on 18th April 2009. 1 rank for 10 consecutive years in world cricket. His posts were so realistic that it made the public believe that it was actually a member (player or staff) of the KKR group. 2010) 26 . Originally. he had nicknames for all the players and would usually try and portray the other teams in bad light. John Buchanan. This is one incident the KKR PR team will never forget. The team was rumoured to have banned the use of laptops for any members. The then coach of KKR. The blogger would put write scandalous incidents about the players. This blog worsened the situation for KKR who was already having a bad season for 2 years. This was a huge PR and media crisis for the KKR PR team. was accused of racism with the team members.
Ferrand. Routledge. Available from: <http://www. Taylor & Francis Group. M.fakeiplplayer. (2010) [Online Image].com/> [Accessed on 12th May 2011] 5.com/article/sports/in-a-hell-called-kolkataknight-riders> [Accessed on 13th May 2011) 27 . Available from: http://9u4rd14n4n93ls. The Idol of Sports. Elsevier Ltd. S. 7. 4. (2009). Hopwood. Open The Magazine. Waingankar.html [Accessed on 13th May 2011) 8. 3. Available from: <http://www. et al.doc > [Accessed 13th May 2011]. Human Kinetics. et al.iplt20.com/> [Accessed on 11th May 2011) 2. (2010) Sports Public Relations and Communications. Leeds Metropolitan University (2006) Policy. (2009) Marketing the Sports Organisation: Building networks and relationships.openthemagazine. G.leedsmet.blogspot. 6. Fake IPL Player (2009) April 2009 – April 2011 [Internet blog] Available from: <http://www. and McCarthy. In a Hell called Kolkata Knight Riders. Indian Premier League (2011) [Internet]. framework principles and procedures for research ethics [Internet]. M.. Stoldt.com/2010_06_01_archive. Available from: <http://www.Bibliography: 1. (2006) Sport Public Relations: Managling Organisational Communication. [Internet] 3rd May 2009.uk/research/PublishedPolicyFramework(res_Ethics). A.ac.
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