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View Full Version : UPA needs PR help! (warning: long)



Ross
09-03-2002, 11:12 AM
I just wanted to get this off my chest. Sorry if it is overly long or self-indulgent.
I have supported the UPA because I think Charlie's heart is in the right place and because men's pool desparately needs its own organization. And I still agree with their decision to not sanction the Open if indeed the sanctioning requirements were not met. It was important that the UPA not set the precedent that they will selectively apply the requirements for sanctioning. I personally think some of the requirements for sanctioning amount to over "micro-managing" but that is not the issue. The requirements can be changed, but whatever they are, they need to be consistently applied.

Having said that, I think the UPA's recent public relation attempts have been disastrous. Their posted message on the UPA website about the US Open is an example of an overly combative, non-professional, door-closing institutional response. For example, they could have said something like the following -
"Because we have been unable to reach an agreement with Mr. Behrman, the UPA will not be sanctioning the 27th Annual U.S. Open 9Ball Tournament. Therefore the UPA cannot assure its members that the player safeguards afforded by UPA sanctioning will be in place for this event, nor will any UPA ranking points be awarded for this event.
The UPA recognizes the long-standing and significant contributions that Mr. Behrman and the US Open have made to mens professional pool, and therefore regrets having to take this action. We look forward to working with Mr. Behrman in future sanctioned UPA events."

This message is firm, spells out the consequences of not being sanctioned, but then is positive looking forward. It is likely to create less ill-will and is about building bridges rather than burning them.

Thes "Cross the line and I'll get you attitude" that the UPA is exhibiting is doomed to failure. This attitude is shown again when, based on their statements about Earl Strickland's behavior, the UPA overreacted by "resigning" Earl. Once again, they did their best to burn bridges. The professional reaction would have been to establish a dialogue with him after he cooled down, and then developing some general written guidelines (in consultation with the players) about appropriate sanctions (fines, suspensions, etc.) for future misbehavior. Once the sanctions are known by the players in advance, they should be applied to all of the players on an equal basis. Having reasonable standards for behavior and applying reasonable sanctions consistently when these standards are not met is important and will benefit the sport. Saying "You're out of here!" as a first reaction to a violation of the standards has a despotic flavor and is just plain short-sighted.

I thing the UPA has a good goal, and I don't think any of the members or management are "evil" men out to undermine anything. But they don't have PR skills and have made some "bass-ackwards" decisions. I hope they will consider hiring a PR person to help them. After all, no matter how well meaning an organization is, if the perception of them by the public and by others in the pool world is negative then all of their efforts are for naught!

Vicki
09-03-2002, 01:12 PM
Ross,

Very, very, very well said. I hope the UPA principals and members read and take to heart your message. You certainly have a job in my firm should I ever require a PR expert.

Take care, Vicki

Ross
09-03-2002, 02:25 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Vicki:</font><hr> Ross,

Very, very, very well said. I hope the UPA principals and members read and take to heart your message. You certainly have a job in my firm should I ever require a PR expert.

Take care, Vicki <hr></blockquote>

Hi Vicki,

Thanks for the feedback!

RossNC ~ who may be calling you about that position if he doesn't cut down on his checking of CCB during work.*

*Note that the above statement describes a strictly hypothetical scenario and any resemblance to actual events is purely coincidental. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif