I read an article the other day on Joe Favorito’s PR sports blog about the role and effects that social media played in the Special Olympics World Games. It’s an interesting read because Joe interviews the Chief Marketing Officer of the SOWG, Kirsten Seckler. These articles have a special interest to me because sports PR is something that I’ve always had a fascination with and it’s ultimately my dream job to work in the sports industry as a PR professional.
Often times we hear about the negative effects that social media can have on the sports industry and of course it’s athletes. We hear and read about stories everyday about the awful or just terrible social media decisions that are made by someone in or involved with the sports world. And I’m just going to say it, but it’s usually athletes. Ok, its ALWAYS athletes! Not really, but seriously this an issue that we see time and time again. And it definitely has a negative impact image wise on the sports world.
However, this isn’t the case for Seckler and the Special Olympics World Games in Joe’s article. In the article Joe mentions that the 2015 Games were “the most integrated and digital and social engaged platform that Special Olympics has had in their history.” In the interview Seckler mentions that the Games “gives us a chance to change perceptions and attitudes toward people with intellectual disabilities – the most marginalized population on Earth. Social media will be a critical component to our awareness efforts. Not only will we push out news, results, content, stories, etc. through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more, but we will engage people and mobilize them to be more inclusive and respectful of people with intellectual disabilities.”
This is an interesting thing to think about. Everyday we see stories and examples like this of the positivity that social media can bring to the world or even a simple yet important cause. Yet, it’s the negative stories that gain our attention the most. It seems that sometimes we are more concerned and aware of the “oh no’s” than the “oh ya’s.”