A PR Lesson From the World Cup


Gianni Infantino scored an his own goal on the eve of the World Cup.   



In a new article, “FIFA President Gianni Infantino Just Provided a PR Teaching Moment”, I note that Infantino’s press conference - which was met with widespread disbelief - offers a lesson in not only what not to do, but how easy it is for leaders to completely misjudge the moment and audience.

“Infantino offers a reminder that communication is not just what we say, but what is understood by the audience. The failure to consider context and how an audience will decode the messages we communicate, has consequences.”

There’s a second takeaway. Is a problem the result of poor communications or something more substantial? I argue that Infantino’s glaring failure – and likely that of Qatar – has been to view negative coverage as a communications issue that could be solved by brow beating journalists, rather than the recognition that concerns about human rights and migrant workers that have been raised are legitimate.   

And now back to soccer…             


Simon Erskine Locke is founder & CEO of communications agency and professional search and services platform, CommunicationsMatch™, and a regular contributor to CommunicationsMatch’s technology helps clients search, shortlist and hire agencies and professionals by industry and communications expertise, location, size, diversity and designations. CommunicationsMatch powers PRSA’s Find a Firm search tools, and developed the industry’s first integrated agency search and RFP tools, Agency Select™, with RFP Associates. 


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