Monday, August 28, 2006

Please be more proactive

It was a relief to open Scuttlebutt Europe today and finally see that Glenn Bourke, VOR boss, has joined the debate about the event he is in control over. That is: He hasn’t been in control of the debate since he launched the new VOR in Gothenburg just before the boats arrived early this summer. After that day the Volvo Ocean Race Management has let the sailors and armchair curmudgeons rule the news with misinformation, misunderstanding and opinions.

That’s not a wise PR strategy. In VOR’s case I’m afraid it’s a consequence of not having any post-press conference communication strategy at all, and that’s bad for the future race.

Bourke & Co could definitely have been better at informing all the stakeholders directly about the change of format. Stakeholders in this event is very clearly described by Bourke him self: “Sailors, designers, sponsors, shore crew, team managers, the press, sports fans, non sports fans, industry leaders, billionaires, clubs, classes, ISAF and even my mother.”

If you listen to them before you make the decisions, you should do your utmost to let them understand that their decisions has been taken in consideration and been the basis for the new VOR. Pick out the reporters you know have a potential of being sceptical and give them special attention and enough information so that they at least get the facts straight.

Bourke and his PR-staff should also have had a contingency plan ready so that all the commentaries after the launch of the 2008 event would have been answered ASAP by a positive voice with a standing in the international sailing community. But maybe in the future…


Post a Comment

<< Home