Footy's Facebook PR disaster; draw your own conclusions

shitflying.jpg Thanks to the humanure webspot, we can see just what happens when the sh1t hits the footy fan. reports that three, young Adelaide Crows footballers – Ivan Maric, John Meeson and Andrew McIntyre – have been caught posting hand-drawn pornographic pictures on a website accessible to children. facebook_logo.gif

The club claimed its young charges were unaware the pages could be accessed by anyone registered with the publicly accessible Facebook website, yet the episode shows how easy it is for a PR disaster to befall any organisation that fails to understand the new rules of reputation management. Too often, collective reputation can be sullied by the act of one or two rogue individuals; the challenge lies not in post-event punishment but in early PR education (Is that too obvious a plug??). If only more football clubs and corporations would teach their people about the importance of being ambassadors for their employers! (Surely that is!!)
A batch of eager stakeholders have been quick to denounce the Crows players and, by inference, the club. Young Media Australia acting chairwoman Lynne Rutherford said she was shocked such images were posted on a website popular with young people. “This issue is about the fact the images were accessible to young people, including Crows fans who would naturally seek out the home pages of their heroes,” Ms Rutherford said. Family First MP Dennis Hood and Australian Democrats MP Sandra Kanck said it was inevitable these images had been seen by youngsters, give they were on Maric’s homepage during the week which coincided with the start of school holidays.
Acting responsibly (albeit after the equine had fled the horsebox) the Crows ordered the images be removed, condemned the players involved and yesterday issued an apology.
“The club is disappointed in the players’ behaviour,” Mr Harper said, adding that they would face fines or match suspensions if involved in any similar incidents in the future.”
Somewhat less than Picasso-standard scrawlings, one drawing showed a male member with arms; genius!

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