To arrest the decline, sport decision makers and leaders must change their thinking and commit to deep learning so as to be the catalyst for the great transformation. The challenge presented by social media and it’s power as a conduit of news and information continues to prove a difficult one for most sport leaders.
The immediacy, the sheer ability of news, information and even rumours and gossip to intensify and reach scale is at times overwhelming. There is no controlling social media. It is what it is.
Some leaders have better advisers than others, there are those who do not really care....social media isn’t something that is a comfortable fit.
In the instant case of the sport and Olympic movement there are cautious steps forward but the truth is social media isn’t to be feared. Like any thing else invented, it can either be good or bad.
For me what is good about social media, as brutal as it can be, it allows for communication and feedback. Even fake news and incorrect news are necessary feedback. The biggest plus is that it’s almost immediate.
Communication experts and advisors may disagree at times as to the best way to reply or respond. There are even times that it’s best not to respond or join the communication.
Whatever you may feel about social media. It is an important tool and asset. I know there are many persons in leadership positions who view social media as a necessary evil. Viewing social media as a necessary evil will cause blind spots.
Have a strategy, call in the experts. Learn, learn, learn! Find a way to go past perceived fears. Embrace the benefits of social media.
In fact I would make bold to say that any organisation that isn’t making a serious strategic effort to learn, love and appreciate social media, is functioning with a blindfold on.
Insights that can shape strategy and solutions can be obtained.
The downside is targeted harassment and bullying people through fear tactics can occur on social media. Social media is about having different perspectives and no one person or group should be allowed to harass or bully others.
On the plus side, it has never been easier to engage with stakeholders and therein is the opportunity to communicate, update and to monetise and generate meaningful ongoing income.
Thanks to YouTube, Instagram, SoundCloud and other internet-based platforms, sport organisations can distribute and disseminate.
Sport organisations need to deep dive into technology. Learn, listen, embrace and empower new ideas; adopt a growth mindset; and focus on growth.
The culture shift may require sport leaders to see themselves as Chief Technology Officers. The options aren’t many.
Remain old school and irrelevance is certain.