Juventus' Leonardo Bonucci and others should 'think twice' over comments, says sports PR expert
By Paul Gilmour
Last Updated: 08/04/19 7:29pm
Leonardo Bonucci and other players should "always think twice" or they will harm their careers, according to a football PR specialist.
Bonucci said in a post-match interview that Juventus team-mate Moise Kean should shoulder 50 per cent of the blame for the racist abuse directed at him during the Serie A match against Cagliari on Tuesday.
The defender has since claimed he was "clearly misunderstood" and was "too hasty" in what he said after the match.
Stefano Marchesi, who works closely with players, managers and Romelu Lukaku's P&P Sport Management group, told Sky Sports News that this kind of error can damage a reputation.
"Even if you say things in good faith it's not certain the result is good from a PR perspective. The best advice is to always think twice. If you have to think three times it's always better," he said.
"My work is tailor-made on the personality and character of each person. You have to work on preventing problems, so if you train them to ask questions of themselves you can help stop them making a mistake.
"For me there are three main factors; time, environment and risk. In the modern world communication has eliminated the spreading time of news so the environment is global. News is immediate and worldwide.
"The risk depends on the importance of information and the fame of the public figure. If you don't have control over these factors it's like sitting on a bomb that could blow up at any moment."
Given how media comments can damage reputations, the development of senior communication positions and in-house media channels for clubs over the past five years highlight how essential the area has become.
And Marchesi insists that is "not about building a fake character".
"You have to build an empathy with your player or manager," he said. "You have to know them well and knowing them deeply you pick up both positive and negative points. We show off the positive and try to hide the negative.
"It's also important to speak with them constantly and show them other people's errors. We can find many examples of these; (Mauro) Icardi, (Maurizio) Sarri, (Mario) Balotelli and Neymar have all been portrayed in a bad light because of their bad communication in relating to fans, players, media, team-mates or managers.
"Being aware of consequences of what they do is important. PR and communication are major sources of income for football."