Lessons from FIFA comms

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Lessons from FIFA comms

The latest uproar about FIFA is another opportunity to learn from their media management.

It was interesting to see the Director of Comms giving a press briefing yesterday. It’s not often you see such a figure doing the  press briefing at a time like this.  However, with so much going on with individuals in the organisation it’s not altogether surprising and suggests that several may well have chosen to duck that particular opportunity for a profile piece to the world’s media!

The content of his interview was telling. It certainly seems that there were some interesting shenanigans going on in the run up to bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments. When faced with such a challenge as a comms person it can be hard to find a way through and an appropriate way to position what is happening especially with investigations going on. Say too much and you can open up more questions which you aren’t in a position to answer; say nothing and you’re accused of closing ranks and covering up. It’s a thankless position to be in if you’re the messenger.

However, to come out and claim it’s a good day for FIFA is slightly over-egging it in anyone’s book. Clearly there is an opportunity to root out any wrong-doers that there may be, but this should of course have happened a long time ago – it really shouldn’t need an FBI investigation to do it. Of course, he can’t sit there and say it’s a disaster, but a little more contrition would help everyone to see that they really do want to get to the bottom of everything.

He also has to deal with the fact that his boss clearly wants to ignore what’s happening and continue with the election of the President, which at a time like this does seem somewhat arrogant. I do suspect that a request from him to hold off on that activity at this time would simply fall on deaf ears.

I, like many, will be intrigued to see the outcome of the investigation and in the meantime the outcome of the Presidential election at FIFA becomes a little more interesting than it otherwise might have been!

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