11 June 2009

Rugby League's ham-fisted approach to PR

The National Rugby League's attempt at smoothing over its clubs' lamentable treatment of women could not have come at a worse time.

Apart from being an all-too-obvious attempt at trying to win back favour with fans and the media, the timing was ruined by yet another sex scandal: this time involving the CEO of the Cronulla club.

The NRL says it wants to attract women to the game. Well, there's a little more to it than having lunch at a pub (of all places) and saying women should be in leadership roles ... in a male sport, mind you.

The sport first has to tackle the cultural problems (notably alcohol and sex) that beset it, and many other sports codes. This is clearly not happening. Of course, it's a tall order, given that these problems come from society as a whole.

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The PR Lab is a consultancy, specialising on research, reputation management, social media, media relations and the development of measurable strategies that produce results. It is run by Dr Greg Smith, a former journalist and PR professional. Greg worked on daily newspapers in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. He held senior PR positions in the Australian Defence Force, Sydney Olympics and national not-for-profits. He has also lectured in PR at Edith Cowan University and the University of Notre Dame Australia.