I read an article titled “Big Brother is not only watching, he has a big whip in his hand.” The writer went on to say, “In this age of media microscope, one can only wonder how shortsighted our sport executives, union leaders, coaches and players are when they leave themselves open for negative media stories that greatly affect public opinion.” Sometimes, you wonder how paparazzi sneak into people’s privacy; but the truth is, the media can “make you” or “kill you” as a football player, coach or administrator…
I do not know how media reports and stories affect you, but I know how powerful the media can shape the world opinion regarding a sport personality or organization. Perhaps, Tiger Wood exploits in the Golf arena had made the world view him as demy-god until the media swooped into his immoral behavior with women and all his reputation came crashing down like a pack of cards. Similar incident happened to the all respected captain of Chelsea FC John Terry. The same media that promoted him and made him so reverend all over the world are the ones that tried to destroy him again.
Media are so powerful! If you disregard them or you’ve a bad rapport with them, you’re finished. Mike Tyson’s continued disregard of how he acted and how he was perceived in the presence of the media was one of the bane of his boxing career. And many people were of the opinion that Coach Shaibu Amodu greatest undoing of himself as a manager of the Super Eagles was his poor media relationship.
We all know that no matter how bad it may look, all stories have two sides, but un fortunately the other side is far less interesting than that receiving the bulk attention in the media. When the media have said it; who will want to hear your defense or your side of the story.
As a sport personality you should learn to watch your back all the time, because you could be bugged even right in your bedroom. Be conscious that all eyes are on you; that gold fish has no hiding place.
Two most important virtues a sports personality should work on are, build a noble character and a good media relationship. Remember, you’re a role model; it’s crucial that you carry yourself well , and most importantly, that you’re portrayed so well by the media.
Learning to build rapport, understanding and comprehension of media and community relationship is key to a successful career as a sport personality. As Helen Chukwueke the Executive Director, Media – GreenHunters Sports International puts it, “You are how the media want you to be in the mind of the public.” Media and community relations are the subject any sport person should not take lightly. What you say and how you say it is so vital during press interview. The media is quick at deliberately misconstruing the context of your statement just to create hot news. As a sport person, you’re advised to seek expert guidance during interview. You cannot over emphasis the power of positive media relations. It can amplify your good image and make you so marketable to organizations and fans who seek to endorse you.
As you enter into media spotlight, it’s so important that you contract an agency like GreenHunters Sports international that handles media relationship services. They provide trainings for “Players/ Administrators” in public speaking and dealing with media. Helen Chukwueke said “Only media experts can handle ‘spin.’ They’re the ones that has the skill to present an argument in several different ways; sometimes to minimize the effect of negative reports or to ‘overstate’ positive attitude.”
A media relations officer (some call it a Public relations officer) is so vital in image enhancement and controlling of public reaction towards a player, club or national team. They’re vital element in the success of any super star. You cannot afford not to have one.