The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


If You Want Respect, You Have To Give Respect …
April 16, 2013, 6:13 am
Filed under: Comment

So a few weeks ago, Martin O’Neil was sacked as manager of Sunderland football club.

While this is upsetting for Martin, it’s also quite upsetting for me.

Not just because he was a member of the glorious Nottingham Forest team that won the European Cup, but my family has a close connection to the O’Neil family because his now deceased wife used to work for my Dad.

Despite all this, there was one bit of good news and it was this …

Can you see it?

It’s the fact that Sunderland Football Club reported the news prior to the press getting it.

As you can see from the picture above, the statement was re-tweeted BEFORE Stan Collymore [another Forest great] could report it.

I know it’s a little thing … I know that some might be able to show me tweets prior to the official announcement … but in these days where many companies believe that paying a salary means they can act anyway they like, it was good to [hopefully] see a company approach a rather nasty decision with an ounce of professionalism and integrity. At least how they told the World about it.

Remember, where livelihoods are concerned, it’s never business, it’s always personal.


35 Comments so far
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Don’t know if you’ve heard yet Rob, but there’s been explosions at the Boston marathon. Is Freddie and his family OK?

Comment by Pete

Hi mate, I’m actually up for a concall that never happened. Just reading the news now, it’s utterly terrible. I emailed Freddie immediately but then saw him saying all was OK on Facebook, thank god.

Comment by Rob

As are a couple of people I know who were running.

Comment by John

Funny how Facebook has become the place to “see” if friends are OK – based on the belief they would either announce it or at least talk about the tragedy.

Comment by Rob

Good to hear Robert. When I heard the news, i had flashbacks to the IRA.

Comment by George

Twitter for me – fascinating and heartening to see how while phone system was down, people ver here could help people over there with information.

Comment by John

Companies always try and claim business decisions that impact workers and communities are devoid of emotion. What’s terrible is they often are.

Comment by Pete

In some ways, companies can’t win because any bad news is going to be met with strong emotions – however while I’m not expecting them to be warm and fluffy, they needn’t be callous and disrespectful which is possibly why I liked the Sunderland Football Club being (hopefully) first to report the bad news rather than a news organisation who would revel in the information.

Yes folks, that’s how far (backwards) we’ve come … being happy a company was first to release the news rather than it being eeked out on social media. We really need to hit the reset button don’t we.

Comment by Rob

To quote something you say many times, it’s not necessarily what a company does, it’s how they do it and why they do it that people judge them for.

In these social media times, it’s amazing some organisations don’t care about the backlash that can come from treating good workers with disrespect.

Comment by Pete

Totally agree. There’s no excuse for not being on top of the dissemination of information relating to your own organisation, so well done Sunderland.

But strange that their official twitter announces what the club has announced rather than just saying “Sunderland AFC has parted company with….” – seems like there’s still a communication hierarchy which is a shame.

Comment by John

Maybe to affirm its legitimacy?

Comment by Rob

I know what you mean, but isn’t “Official” legitimate enough?

Comment by John

Maybe not in these days where certain sections of the media happily make up stories to create the stories they want to happen.

Comment by Rob

As we’re talking about communication, what do you think of this?

Comment by John

In some ways I think it’s good. In others, it looks like flagrant commercial exploitation by a brand. I’m hoping the former, it’s something that too many other brands ignore … though probably because they know the potential backlash rather than a lack of care.

I suppose we wouldn’t be saying this if the company was from / or had strong links to – Boston, so maybe we’re all cynics looking for the wrong in everything. God, I hope not.

Comment by Rob

What Rob said.

FYI Rob. You started a company called cynic.

Comment by Pete

When you’re trying to stir up trouble Pete, society is really doomed. Talking of doom, my concall is back on. Ta-ra, the early morning conversation was fun, albeit about a tragic situation.

Comment by Rob

I agree with Robert. While the temptation is to discount the brand as a cheap exploiter of human tragedy, that says more about me than them. At least at this stage. As an aside, I’ve just been sent an email by a friend in the UK saying the twitter trends showed a TV show called “made in Chelsea” ranked higher than the Boston bombing. It seems society has many problems with judgement.

Comment by George

Strangely enough, that same show got its best ever ratings last week on the night all the networks were devoted to Thatcher’s death. Seems many people would rather watch a scripted reality show than real reality.

Comment by John

I want it to be for good reasons. The bomb is the act of cowards (not terrorists) and if companies exploit it for gain, they’re just as bad as whoever has caused this shit today.

I don’t know if others think the same, but this feels more homegrown than international terrorism. That doesn’t make it better or worse, but it will make America more confused and give the NRA more ammunition.

Comment by DH

I’m guessing this is especially tough for you Dave. Take care of yourself.

Comment by Pete

Re: Yoghurt

For me, when it’s clear that a message is meant with genuine goodwill it’s ok.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

You’re right Robert, it’s about respect for others and sadly few companies are capable of that outside of some contrived muttering in their annual report.
Sunderland did the right thing by officially announcing O’Neil’s departure before the media could act on rumours and gossip. It’s just a shame they followed it up by hiring an impetuous and odious little man who supports fascism and doesn’t understand why people might have an issue with that.

Comment by George

I’m glad you didn’t highlight his Italian nationality in that character assassination – but then you have always known how to play right up to the line, but never cross it. Ha.

Comment by Rob

Trouble is, they win their first game against arch rivals by the quite common score of 3-0 and all the rest seems to have been forgotten.

Comment by John

Collective moral amnesia.

Comment by Rob

This is a good post. The debate on when is it OK for a brand to “involve themselves” is better.

Comment by Bazza

To stop us from flirting the fine line between cynical and objective [as discussed in John’s comment about the yoghurt company who sent a tweet of sorrow to the Boston bomb victims], here’s something to remind us – courtesy of John – why we need to remember good exists and is in bigger supply than evil, despite what the media would like us believe.

http://tinyurl.com/cgeynuf

Comment by Rob

Brilliant.

Comment by Pete

This is good.

Comment by DH

But I’m still not convinced that a yoghurt company needs to ‘share’ on the matter. If they were Boston-based and had people involved then maybe there’s a rationale. It just looks to me like intrusive and empty ’emoting’. Diana’s flower show all over again … then again, maybe I’m just another cynic.

Comment by Ian Gee

Yep … but I still feel it’s better than some of the other stuff I’m seeing, which are pictures, saying “we’re thinking of you Boston” with the brand logo attached.

I know this yoghurt companies logo appears on the twitter feed, but I’m talking about people who are creating specially designed work that includes it.

Comment by Rob

Blimey, if people care about anything to do with this, it’s not brands. Not sure anyone will be pleased or annoyed at yoghurt empathy, mostly they’ll be completely indifferent.
Now to more important stuff:
Very relieved Fred is okay.
My daughter said Daddy for the first time this morning

Comment by northern

Fair point, but if you saw what Adidas did today – you’d definitely care and you’d be repulsed. And congrats on your daughters vocabulary development – but did she say Daddy to you or someone else … or when she was having a poo or something. I guess what I’m saying is I hope one of the pivotal moments in family development wasn’t underminded by wrong context.

Comment by Rob

Yep fair point, if you try and hard you can create revulsion
Evie was pointing at Susanna Ried on telly at the time – hopefully she hasn’t rumbled that Daddy secretly fancies her

Comment by northern




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