Sometimes when a huge controversy occurs B&T turns to the media professionals for their advice and words of wisdom, we’ve asked the big guns from adland about what happens next for the AFL and Adam Goodes.
If you’ve been living in a hole, Sydney Swan’s player Adam Goodes won’t be playing this week after copping months of abuse from AFL crowds.
The Ideas Director
Jonathan Pease executive ideas director and managing partner at ideas agency Tongue told B&T to tackle this issue it’s as simple as turning a ‘boo’ into a ‘boom’.
“Start a campaign within the Sydney Swans and Swans supporters that whenever a Swans player, especially Adam Goodes, does something great – does a great mark, kicks a goal etc – their chant will be BOOM.
“It number one starts a really cool campaign about everything the Swans do which is good, the team and supporters can say ‘boom’ whenever the team does something great. But also whenever the opposing team, or anyone, is racist enough to boo someone with a simple ‘M’ you can transform that boo into a boom.
“You transform boo into boom, you turn the whole thing around.”
The PR Leader
“The AFL should be making a zero tolerance approach and making that approach a lot more visible then it is now,” James Wright managing director of PR agency Red Agency & Havas told B&T.
“It all seems very defensive and on the back-foot, there needs to be a stronger proactive approach.
“The AFL needs to be showcasing what they’re doing in these reconciliation action plans, they should be giving clear direction to players about not enticing the crowds and thirdly giving direction to supporters.
“I appreciate they’ve (AFL) made some pretty strong statements this week but words are words, now we need to see some actual action.”
The Crisis Management Expert
Tony Jaques, managing director of crisis management agency Issue Outcomes P/L gave B&T some ideas of how ‘brand’ Goodes should react:
“He needs to decide whether brand Goodes is primarily about Goodes the man, Goodes the Aboriginal man, or Goodes the footballer. That would be step number one.
“Brand Goodes is very much saveable, but Goodes himself must want to save it, and that’s not entirely clear at the moment. And he needs people around him who want to help him save the brand rather than getting ready to deliver the eulogy at the funeral of his career.
“While it’s clear that some of his troubles have been self-inflicted, I believe he shows every sign of lacking good communications advice. Real PR people are not just publicists and fire-fighters, but are strategic advisors too. What Goodes needs now is not a short term fix but a long term plan which, frankly, should have started a year ago.”
The Media Professor
Noel Turnbull is an adjunct professor in the School of Media and Communications at RMIT University in Melbourne, he told B&T it’s not about Goodes, it’s about the AFL brand:
“The Adam Goodes brand doesn’t need saving. He will be admired long after he retires for his onfield and off-field life. The brands that are in danger are those of the AFL and sports and political leaders who are not taking a strong stand on the issue.”