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Strauss's clear communication puts ECB on the front foot in Pietersen affair

May 12, 2015 by Jonathan Hemus

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has been subjected to much criticism regarding its communication about the Kevin Pietersen affair. Allegations of obfuscation, leaks, mixed messages and tardiness have all been made at one time or another.

By contrast, this week’s media briefing by newly appointed director of cricket Andrew Strauss demonstrated some of the key ingredients for effective issues management. 

Crucially, the ECB’s key message – that a lack of trust lies at the heart of the issue between Pietersen and the ECB – was carefully planned and clearly communicated. The number of times that Strauss repeated the word “trust” in his media interviews left no one in any doubt as to what the core issue is.

ecb-issues-management-communication

Just as importantly the message was straight forward, honest and therefore believable.  Too many spokespeople hide behind weasel words or vague generalisations and lose respect and credibility as a result. Strauss’s message is so much more effective because it rings true: he told it like it is.

Strong opinions will continue to be expressed about Pietersen’s exclusion from the England set up. What is no longer in any doubt is the reason for this decision thanks to clear, open and straight forward communication by Andrew Strauss. Any spokesperson required to communicate about a sensitive issue would do well to display the same characteristics.

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