International sport public relations

2016-10-12T15:24:58Z (GMT) by James Skinner Kristine Toohey
As the importance and financial rewards of global sport have increased so too the practice of public relations on an international basis has continued to expand and more public relations practitioners represent organisations that transcend national boundaries (Dickerson, 2005). As practicing international public relations tales place across national boundaries ‘public relations becomes a cultural artefact, bound by cultural beliefs, perceptions and notions’ (Curtin and Gaither, 2007, p. 20) which presents many unique challenges. This chapter identifies that culture should be at the centre of understanding the role of international public relations. Sports, however, are often overlooked in international public relations despite the fact that sport can cross national boundaries and focus the attention of the international community. It has the capacity to ‘shape relationships at numerous levels: diplomatic, cultural, economic and organisational’ and thus implies ‘a role for public relations’ (L’Etang, 2006, p. 386). By using the Olympic Games and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as examples this chapter highlights the role that public relations has and can play in promoting and protecting the place that sport occupies in the international community.