Good (But Late) Moves From Sherrin

Interesting to watch football manufacturer Sherrin cope with the revelation about needles found in their Auskick footballs and the fact that some of its subcontractors in India were using child labour to stitch the footballs.

It emerged overnight that Sherrin was aware of the needle issue in May this year but said it didn’t go public because it believed no members of the public were involved. With that wonderful virtue called hindsight it might have been a better move to have gone public then and deal with the issue. Having said that, Sherrin seems to be doing all the right things now – recalling almost half a million balls at a cost of more than $1 million and has leased a new factory to gain “absolute control” over the football manufacturing process.

Fully aware that its lucrative contract with the AFL could be under threat, Sherrin has moved quickly now, placing a large advertisement in The Age today apologising¬† for “the recent breach of our manufacturing code of ethics and safety standards”.

As part of our media training and crisis management services we always stress the need to be open and honest and to move quickly when faced with a crisis like this, no matter the cost. Sherrin now appears to be doing this – it’s just a pity it took the media to put the fire under them and cause the flurry of good activity. Much better from a crisis management perspective had they initiated it.

Mr Abbott – Admit, Apologise and Move On

Can someone get in Tony Abbott’s ear and tell him to fess up. There’s such a kerfuffle out there about a woman’s claim that the current Opposition Leader behaved in an intimidatory fashion when she beat him in a vote for Sydney University Student Representative Council president in 1977.

I heard the woman on radio this morning and she reeks of credibility whereas Abbott’s denial doesn’t smell the same way at all. When will he ever learn what I tell participants in my media training workshops – if you’ve made a mistake, admit it, apologise and move on.

While his alleged actions 35 years ago were not exemplary (he apparently came within an inch of her nose and punched the wall on either side of her head), he didn’t hurt the woman physically so he should be admitting it, apologising to her and then the story would go away. As it turns out he has apparently gone into hiding from the media which is the very last thing he should be doing. Again, from a media training perspective he should be on the front foot. Unfortunately, his critics are saying this is not an isolated incident and his offensive behavior means he is not suitable to be Prime Minister of Australia.