David Alexander: Lessons in handling crisis communications in sport - 2017

David Alexander: Lessons in handling crisis communications in sport - 2017

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In any modern sports organisation, the digital/content/social media teams need to understand the communications team, and vice versa. But often they fail to work cohesively and end up in different silos. 

That is why I spoke to David Alexander, the founder of Calacus, an independent sports PR consultancy. They help organisations and individuals to tell their stories across the world. They specialize in crisis communications in sports.

We discussed:

1:50 David Alexander introduces himself and his work with Calacus

2:39 Handling the Sharapova case

8:12 Why Sharapova’s communications strategy was a relative success

9:43 The importance of ‘getting in front’ of the story

12:20 How do you choose what to respond to?

14:00 The concept of a dark site

15:26 The issues surrounding Bradley Wiggins/Team Sky case

21:33 What they could have done differently?

23:00 Russia and the IOC, another doping issue

26:09 How do clean athletes manage their communications in this case?

29:16 How to drill athletes in their messaging

30:48 Is there a need for differing approaches for differing sports?

34:17 Does media training make athletes boring?

36:22 Why the Rooney saga proves “we live in a world where nothing can hushed up”

40:35 When the public tries to catch out an athlete

43:56 The importance of maintaining a dialogue with the public at all times

46:36 Communications issues surrounding the Premier League rights deal in 2018

50:09 Coping with the money problem when it is has helped the Premier League become the richest football League in the world

52:46 The reputational issues surrounding the World Cup in Russia

57:43 The future of sports communications - right-holders, clubs and athletes taking control of their story and content

* David Alexander has worked in the media since the early 1990s for local and national newspapers, broadcasters including the BBC, magazines and a spell in Italy for Reuters news agency.

He has worked for a wide range of sports clients around the world and is a CIPR Chartered Practitioner, the highest individual qualification in UK
public relations.

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