Public Relations Campaign to Promote Women Participation in Sports in the United Arab Emirates

Executive Summary

The Office of the International Olympics Committee, (IOC)

Sub: An Awareness Campaign Aimed At The Promotion Of Participation Of Women In Sport

In the recent past, there has been gender alienation when it comes to the participation of girls and women in the recreation and sporting activities in general. The minimal women participation has become a focal point that has raised various discussions within the various sporting bodies. This campaign, therefore, is geared towards the promotion of participation in sports by young girls, women and the female gender in general. It further encourages the specialization by the identified targeted groups; women and young girls, in their respective fields of choice as dictated by their talents.

Several meetings had already been programmed to commence in the month of March 2014, with an aim of the actual campaign running from June. In the reaching out to the various groups of people, and the target groups, several methodologies have been anticipated as a means of communicating to them. These, amongst others, include: activities of media relations, for instance, releases of press, features as well as interviews; unrestricted participation by means of already existing games and teams of club associations; and the social media websites such as Facebook, You Tube, Twitter, Linked In and the Short Messaging Service (SMS).

Situational Exploration

The very first and foremost phase of our Public Relations (PR) plan will involve the carrying out of an analysis based on the prevailing circumstances and the gathering of  all the indispensable required material. This will then be used to develop a solid knowledge for the purpose of forging a very robust and success-assured PR program. The analysis will basically use two models: PESTLE and SWOT, which will enhance the drawing of clear pictures that will facilitate the understanding of the actual subject matter to be handled. A table form overview of the analysis is presented as shown in the underneath table:

  Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats
Political Scope Relatively unwavering government characterized with regulations warranting unchanged constitutional rights as well as opportunities to either of them; the women are progressively getting committed in the national politics and the administrative duties. The law, however, has not copiously wiped out the problem of violence against the female gender. This can be overcome through the empowerment of women, via sports inclusive. The raising of women participation in sports is one of the surest approaches towards the achievement of the political stability and the general security within the country. The community and public at large, as usual, may be very reluctant and not willing to readily embrace the proposed changes in the legislature.
Economic Scope The government generously funds the sports sector, which is so encouraging. This is tied on the fact that the UAE is amongst the top economies worldwide which is ensured by the gains made from the oil export. Because of nature’s law of distribution, there arises very immense regional disparities caused by the uneven distribution of oil. There are multiple unexploited opportunities in the other sectors such as tourism, commercial as well as the sports sector. These are key areas that the government can focus on and develop well, in order to realize diversification. The constant fluctuation in the prices of oil is a key concern to the economy, and the overreliance on the oil products, which, does not at any cost encourage diversification.
Social-cultural Scope The society believes in the spirit of brotherhood which is advanced by the doctrines of their religion that encourages cohesion. There is unbeaten level of male chauvinism in the society. The women are thus not expected to be in positions of power, large businesses and cartels. The society believes that women should never engage in sports, upon which, they may be considered as outcasts Getting the society informed and encouraging the participation of women in virtually all the activities, including sports through the giving of awards to the participants. Also, the women should be protected from such archaic vices that make them feel inferior. Fields of sports that involve women to expose their bodies, which they consider as a taboo and embarrassment discourage them from participating in such sports. Women have been mistreated, some turned into sex workers thus making them lose their self-esteem.
Environmental scope The expansive sandy fields provide good training grounds. Extreme dangers are involved as the participants may suffer the calamities of sand. Open spaces can still be utilized to design danger free practicing spaces. Too much funds may be needed in the execution of such plan.
Legal scope

 

 

 

 

The legal systems of the government favor the sporting activities, and even goes ahead to give more weight on the female games.

 

The legal procedures dictate the kinds of attires put on by the women. The attire put on by the ladies in the course of their participation is a major challenge as some leave them quite exposed.

 

There are still avenues for designing of better kinds of fittings for the women.

 

Sporting does not encourage too covering clothes extreme sweating is involved.

 

The above analysis, as per this campaign, suggests that there is a positive move by this country in the favor of gender equality. This move is feared to be at a risk of being delayed or fully hindered by the unwilling acceptance of the society towards the embracement of such move. The society should, therefore, be enlightened on the various significances of the participation by women in the activities that in are currently considered un-womanly by them. The state government is also tirelessly working on the promotion of women involvement in the country, in spite of having allocated a lot of funds to sporting in general. These measures include the giving of awards to the women who are bold enough to come out and participate in the sporting activities.

Objectives of the PR Campaign:

The objectives must then be summarized in key phrases that can easily be noted at a glance in what is termed as SMART objectives. These would, at the time of analysis of the success of their achievement, enhance easy decision making as there would not be the need to get into specific details, one at a time. These can be summed up with regards to the various target groups, as follows:

SMART Objectives Put Forward for Women: by the close of March 2015, at least half of the target potential women of between twenty to thirty five years of age should have expressed their interest of joining.

SMART Objectives Proposed for Girls: By the close of March 2015, at least 80% of the school-going girls should have shown interest in the sporting activities.

SMART Objectives Designed for the Sports Ministry: by the close of March 2015, all the learning institutions should be well equipped with the necessary materials for the involvement of girls and the women in sports. They should also have as incorporated a study of the history of women involvement in sporting from the early times, and the changes that have occurred to date.

SMART Objectives proposed for the target group families: By the close of March 2015, the various families that are influential in the decision making by the potential participants should have gotten actively involved in the positive decision making on the appropriate fields to be joined by the participants

SMART Objectives For Clubs And The Various Agencies Involved In The Recruitment Of The Potential Participants: By the close of March 2015, there should have been an increment in the job opportunities and an encouraging pay through the salary increment. They should have designed a website through which they can easily be accessed.

The Main Groups of Target and Stakeholders

The audiences cover a wide scope of people, ranging from age, social classes, gender as well as the actual stakeholders of the campaign. They are therefore classified into various groups as outlined below:

  • The First Group:

This campaign is a prerequisite to the ultimate increment in the female involvement in sports. This group, therefore, is purely composed of the potential participant in the various sporting activities and thus, making them form the basic target group of audience. The achievement of the main aim of the campaign is, therefore, not realized until such a time that the first group has been capture. The willingness of the target group to be directly involved should be taken into consideration.

  • The Second Group:

This group encompasses all the stakeholders that are able to influence the young girls and women to be involved in the participation in sports, ranging from the lead women. The families of such members of the first group are also included. For instance, a woman may require the encouragement of the husband in order to participate. A young girl, may also, only be in a position of participating of the family members allow for such and encourage them. Under this group also falls the already participating and successful women in the sports sector. These women act as the mentors to the young girls, making them believe that they too can. This group also covers the clubs formed at school and learning institution levels as they form primary influences on the girls as well as women perception of sports.

  • The Third Group:

This group, mainly entails the larger state and governmental bodies such as the government ministries under whose docket the sport is based, such as the ministry of sports and recreation. The government, also plays a very crucial role in the encouragement of the girl child through the allocation of sufficient funds for the ministry, formulation of laws that can help enhance the girl child safety while participating in such activities.

  • The Fourth Group.

This group comprises the international bodies that help in the bringing of the various countries and states together by organizing such worldwide competitions and the awarding of trophies to the top women, as well as the participants for mere participation.

Nature of the Proposed Campaign

The analysis underlined above dictates the nature of the campaign that we are scheduled to undertake. The campaign has segregated groups of audience that may dictate the use of varied messages. This is affected by the dynamics of the various assemblages. Very wide array of medium of communication will have to be used in the delivery of the messages.

The PR Campaign’s Messages

The campaign messages should be geared towards the persuasion of the target groups with the aim of realizing the goals of the campaign. There may be need for the formulation of specific messages to each and every group, as there is a variation in the groups’ characteristics as well as the expected outcome. The messages should try to at all cost bring out the positive side of the main objective which is the women involvement in sport. These messages can categorically classified as shown below:

 First Group

This is mainly characterized by the able-to-participate women and girls. The messages should highlight the benefits of their participation in sports and include, but not limited to:

  • Through the women participation in sports, the gender violence has been curbed by a good percentage as there reduces the chances of discrimination against the women.
  • Participation in sports enhances females body shape as it keeps them fit. This ensures that they remain attractive for a longer time.
  • There are much reduced chances of a breast cancer problem in the active women as compared to their inactive counterparts.
  • Participation in sports by the young women helps boost their self-esteem as they feel the center of attention when they can realize that people can actually stay glued on them as they perform in their various fields.
  • By getting actively involved in the sports, the women widen their network scope as they stand chances of meeting new people from the various parts and corners of the world.
  • There are very much reduced chances of active girls suffering from the common adolescence problems such as anxiety and unwanted pregnancies as they get preoccupied in other relevant activities.

Second Group

The second group is comprises of the families of the various groups, the government ministries, the already known sports women who act as role models and the respective first group family members. Such encouraging messages to them include:

  • The families of the various potential participants should know the benefits of the participation by their women and girls as it ensures financial stability: a form of employment.
  • The families should help in the encouragement of the girls on the context that they make proud their country through their participation in the international competitions.
  • The various governments, through the participation by the women in the sports, can be elevated, as they would have to be recognized amongst the various state bodies.
  • There is need for the various ministries to organize competitions in the realms of sports and hold public awards giving occasions at least annually.

The Third Group

This group consists of the international bodies. Such bodies can help facilitate the girl child participation in sports through organizing international forums and tournaments in which the girls are the key participants. Appreciation should be expressed to all the participants by rewarding them with the medals of Honor.

Tactics of the Campaign:

Since we have different and very varied target groups, we have very keenly scrutinized and selected the most effective and convenient communication channels for the different target groups. There has also been an array of tactics put in place to be used in the conveyance of such messages as they are meant to, first and foremost, get their attention, successfully and inherently deliver the messages. And subsequently see to it that the campaign’s main objectives are met: which involves the increment in the number of willing participants and the membership.

Convening of Meetings

Meetings with the various government agencies and ministries will be convened in which discussions on the various strategies to reach the women and girls at the national level will be discussed. The government bodies will be requested to present the movement with the names of women in sports that in the past have stood up as national figures. These will then be published and circulated for views and scrutiny of the public. The women will then be awarded for the past achievements and through the government agencies, this would have to be aired live for the viewing the general public.

Holding of public rallies

A two month world–wide awareness rally will be conducted at selected locations simultaneously. The campaigns will entail the distribution of materials such as journals, magazines, books, flyers even DVDs that contain the relevant information regarding the activities of the PR campaign, the contact information with regards on how to reach out to us for any clarification in the course of the campaign.

Television shows:

We will organize special television interviews whereby we will mainly interview the successful female participants. They will be given the opportunity to inform the girls of their secrets, their opinion on sports, in the past, currently and the future of sporting. They should also try their best to illustrate the various ways by which these three instances relate: whether the past trends or even the present trends are able to have impacts on the future of sports. These shows should be coupled with the brief biographies of the figure participants, showing their wins as well as loses.

Tournament Week

We will also organize a tournament week for the female sports at various local levels, say, at the estate levels. This tournament will be aimed at so many purposes apart from the competition itself. These will include:

  • Proving to the society that the women can actually participate in sports thus encouraging the community at large.
  • Breaking the unending taboos that come with women participation in sports which have always condemned their participation on the pretext that it is meant for men alone.
  • The participants can very easily be handpicked, as they are able to show their skills. Those selected will then be placed at the various slots of employment opportunities that will then have already been prepared for them.

Also, within the tournament week, various speeches will be delivered pertaining to sports. Such speeches will be geared towards the promotion and advising the females on the best choices to make pertaining to the choice of the field of sports.

Radio Spots

There will be the use of radio spots in the reaching out to the various target groups. Prominent women in the sports field would constantly be allocated time to pass information to the young and upcoming participants. They should ensure that they to attract the various females by informing them of the benefits they have achieved through their participation in sports.

The Print Media

The campaign will take advantage of the print media as it is one of the cheapest ways of gathering information. We will, throughout the campaign period have a specified page in the various newsletters for dissipation of information. These will include the stories on the heroines in the sports sector,

Use Of The Public And Social Media Advertisement Equipment Such As Bill Boards

A Facebook page will be developed which will contain all the information that may need relay as stipulated by the program. The other relevant social networks including Linked In, Twitter and You Tube shall also be involved as the number of people using internet has greatly increased. Through these media, the very relevant information will be given. Online question-answer functions will also be provided for.

The Program Schedule Timetable

The below timetable indicates the various activities to be carried out and the stipulated time within which they should be completed.

 

 

 

 

Mar

2014

Apr

2014

May

2014

Jun

2014

Jul

2014

Aug-Sep

2014

Oct

2014

Nov-Dec

2014

Jan-Feb

2014

Mar 2015
This will form the basic time for preparation Meetings with the various agencies.

 

Meeting the delegates involved. The first press release will be done after which the launch of the social network websites will be done. The second press release will be done at this point, after which the campaign will also be officially launched. The tournament week will be held within this month. The third press release will be done as well as the carrying out of interviews. Television interviews will be aired.

Prominent women in the sports will also feature.

Newspaper interviews and Radio as well will be held. The analysis and the reports of the campaign’s progress.

 

Budgetary And Resource Considerations Required For The Implementation Of This Campaign

This budget will be tied to the materials used in the campaign period: this will include both the hired and the bought, the one-time-use ones together withstand chances of being used over and over. The materials will include the magazines, pamphlets, banners and flyers which will be printed, for circulation to the public. These will form the one-time-use items as once circulated to the public may never be recovered at any one time.

The allocations must then be expressed as percentages of the totals as stipulated in the overall budget. The largest percentage will be used in the use of the social and mass media as we have noted that it will act as the key mode of getting out to the people. This will take about thirty percent of the whole sum allocated for this ordeal. The constant advertisements done on television and the radio channels will be very effective. The second largest allocation will be on the stationery used such as the banners, flyers, the booklets, pamphlets, and even the application forms. These will take up to about twenty percent. About fifteen percent will go to the human labor that will be used. These will include the token given to the lead activists for their time for the interviews and for getting to encourage the potential participants. In the tournaments also, there will be need to see to it that the participating groups are awarded as a motivation. This will be very crucial as it will be a symbol and a prerequisite to act as an eye opener on the details of future gains involved in the sports. Another fifteen percent of the total funds will be used in the payment of the actual facilitators. The facilitators in this case include the group of delegates that will oversee and chair the meetings that will be held in the early stages of the campaign. The campaign is dynamic and stands very many chances of undergoing changes at any one instance in time.

The methodologies of output evaluation:

This evaluation will encompass the in-depth analysis of the results as to whether they are in line with the campaign’s key objectives and tactics. The success analysis can, therefore, be carried out as follows:

  • The percentage of the target group that shall have given a comment on the social websites.
  • Whether the meetings convened have successfully been carried out and whether the resolutions made are in line with the campaign’s goals.
  • The percentage of callers for clarification as well as the followers of interviews.
  • The percentage of the target groups that shall have actually applied to join the sporting activities.
  • The attendance by the people of the tournaments in terms of numbers.
  • The feedbacks given, whether positive or negative in the course of the interviews.
  • The number of lead women that came out to help in the campaign, their contributions and how they have impacted on the girls and women as well.

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THE RATIONALE

The need for a campaign plan:

According to the international definition of public relations as put forward by Henslowe, (2003), it comes out as a sustained and pre-determined effort geared towards the establishment and maintenance of a mutual relationship and understanding between an association and its dominical publics, (IPR). In order to accomplish the best and stipulated aftermaths, there is need for the action plan to be based on a particular background and framework that clearly brings out the methodologies, procedures as well as the step by step analysis. The strategies should not just be concerned with the short term, but also the long term results which will be dependent upon the analysis undertaken in the course of its implementation.

Another definition is in line with the Public Relations Society of America, 1988 (PRSA), which brought it out as a weapon that is meant to help foster a mutual adaptation between an organization and the public surrounding it. It goes further to assert that a PR is very significant for any particular association as it is the key for the company to get to reach the audience targeted by it, (Scott, 2007: 62-63).

The Planning Model Applied:

The plan proposed is in accordance to the planning model of Gregory, a model whose introduction took place in the year, 2000 (Tench and Yeomans, 178). The model, (Gregory, 2000, 7), consists of a procedural and chronological order that runs up to the ninth step. These steps include:

  1. Aims
  2. Publics
  • Messaging contents
  1. Strategies
  2. Tactics
  3. Timescales
  • Resources
  • Evaluation and
  1. Review

Situational Analysis

It is a mandatory for a comprehensive PR plan commence with a thorough examination of both the peripheral and core environment contiguous to the venture. The scrutiny in our case, here, is arrived at by the use of the most endorsed tools meant for analysis, the PESTEL and SWOT analyses.  The PESTEL analyses the political avenues, economic strategies, socio-cultural, environmental and the legal prevailing conditions. The SWOT analysis entails the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and the threats surrounding the paradigms. Whereas the SWOT’s main focal point is the internal environment, PESTEL focusses much more on the external environment surrounding an organization, (Cui et al., 2007).

They two are made use of collectively in collaboration so as to be in a position of creating a clear and candid picture of the situation at hand. By combining them, it helps reduce the chances of suffering the errors that that could be encountered in the using of one tool separately. They both, therefore, are very crucial in the analysis of our PR plan.  we have, thus, first and foremost used the two methods of analysis in order to come up with the planning model for our scenario. This model enhances the attainment of the needed analytical picture of the scenario.

Open Systems Model:

This model is expedient in the mapping of the publics. In accordance with the arguments put forward by Witmer (2006). The formulation of the objectives and the key goals of a PR is so much dependent on the collected information about the behaviour of a public and the details regarding such a public. It, therefore, informs the decision making on the kinds of relationships to be forged when it comes to relating with the general public, (Tench & Yeomans, 2009: 176). Our PR campaign strategies have informed us to the identification and grouping of the target groups depending on their order of importance as well as the information on the best methods that can be used to reach out to and positively influence them.

Objectives:

There is need to have well laid down objectives as they form the basis under which the actions to be executed can be monitored and even analysed in a later date. The objectives should be measurable, specific and tied to the operational terms of the organization. Any single PR campaign is aimed at the achievement and attainment of the objectives of the organization. The objectives help professionals with the basis of analysing their progress, determining whether they are in line with the laid down plan so as to help keep track of the expected outcomes (Seitel, 2004). The Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based, (SMART) objectives have been proposed as they are believed to be in a position to enhance the success of our proposed steps and strategies.

Evaluation:

Evaluation encompasses the various steps put in place to see to it that the objectives set beforehand are met by the end, (Henslowe, 2003). The effectiveness of any campaign ordeal can only be gauged from the objectives as set by the organizers before its commencement. It, therefore, is very necessary to foresee the formulation of the key objectives of the campaign before setting out to get to the actual play. This is because, it is the objectives that can are always used to check on the progress of the campaign, which is very vital element as it promotes the objectivity, effectiveness as well as the ensuring the purpose of the project, and it helps keep the organization in the track for which it was scheduled.

A-must-be-noted point is that the evaluation, not only comes once during or at the end of the campaign period, but, is an unending process that is carried over and over throughout the whole campaign period. Evaluation is thus done in order to keep in track with the laid down aims, and to ensure there is no operation that is not in line with the actual plans. According to Tench and Yeomans (2009), the evaluation technique is so much dependent on the types of set down objectives and the actual strategies that are used in the achievement of such objectives.

Gregory (2004: 12-13) makes an observation which he puts forward that, the major feature of the planning of a project is the measurable objectives and. They are what are used to evaluate and draw conclusions as to whether they have been met. In relation to this, the plan laid down for the public relations campaign will put in place a continuous evaluation from the beginning to the end of the campaign period. This will help ensure and confirm that the target groups are well reached out by the formulated messages, thus, ensuring the achievement of the objectives.

Review:

According to Tench and Yeomans, (2009, 1940), there is need to regularly review the plans of the public relations, as they will inform the scheduled campaign. A constant review will, therefore, be carried out from time to time to analyse and determine whether they are actually in the verge of achieving the stated plans. In our case, the plans should be for the campaign to get to reach out to the target groups and to positively influence them towards embracing sports. The laid down strategies should also be reviewed from time to time so that the relevant changes and modifications can be made for the facilitation of the goals. For our plan, there thus, will be a fortnightly review of the strategies as well as the approaches.

Resources and Budget:

Gregory (2009) recommends three basic resource areas under public relations. They are cost of implementation, human resources and the equipment to be used. The human resource proposed should be very efficient in the performance of the different tasks. The costs that are involved in the execution should be in line with the economic grounds of the ordeal. The costs should be readily met without straining too much as this will negatively impact on the process

Tactics

These are usually dependent on the strategies and aim at reaching out to the target groups as stipulated by the plan. They are considered very flexible and therefore having high possibilities of being changed without much kink in the operations of the organization.

Literature and Press Releases:

The press release is recognized amongst the most effective and vital tactics of the PR. This comes into play, mostly when there is proper choice of the media to be used and the distribution is well done. Literature affects the people’s understanding and perception of messages in general, as the language used is very vital for any kind of target group. The type of literature adopted should, more often than not, be very educational, and explicit. It should try to persuade and coax the public in general on getting along with the motion.

The Social Media:

This falls under the most recently devised techniques used in relaying information. The public relations of today has actually taken advantage of this avenue, and has since then facilitated the outreach programmes organized by such organizations. The social media highly facilitates the effective and fast distribution of information (Henslowe, 2003). So many relevant target groups can be reached out within a very short time, (Philips and Young 2009, 69). The organizations of today have gotten into the tendency of maximising on the use of the social media as it is arguably, able to provide the direct link to the consumer, (Dierdre Breakendridge 2008). We therefore opt to put in place the use of Facebook, Linked In and Twitter as well.

The Community Relations:

Interaction leads to exchange of ideas, and therefore, there is need for any particular organization to get to form grounds and provide the platform for exchange of ideas with other communities. Through the week of tournaments, this has been fostered evaluations will be done to confirm whether it has actually impacted positively. It provides a basis upon which the target groups can also be reached out.

Summary:

Any significant PR campaign requires a well laid down plan to enhance its successful execution (Stoldt, Dittmore, &  Branvold, 2012). To help in the planning of the campaign’s proceedings, we have applied the model of planning as put forward by Gregory, in which a comprehensive review and analysis of the campaign plan are carried out. This campaign will be characterized by unremitting evaluations carried out all the way through that duration with the aim of ensuring that all the formulated messages to the various groups are effectively conveyed. A further monitoring of the impacts of such messages is done to confirm that the basic and sought after intentions and vicissitudes are met. The monitoring is also expected to act as an opener of avenues for the making of necessary modifications to the disposition in order to meet its goals, based on the relevance of the schemes and schedule proposed. This will then inform the preparation of an absolute report, based on the comprehensive analysis, evaluation and the domino effect, which will then be submitted in May 2015. The target groups must be understood and each and every one of them given different and relevant approach. This is in accordance with the Open Systems Model. It further dictates the messages designed to suit the varied target groups of people. The classification and identification of the groups remain closely tied to their respective levels of importance, which, determines the messages put forward.  The Operational Strategy Model forms the basis on which the campaign’s planning strategies are founded.

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References

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Henslowe, P., 2003. Public Relations A Practical Guide to the Basics. London: Kogan Page          Limited.

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Scott D, M., 2007, The New Rules of Marketing and PR. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Seitel F P, 2004, The Practice of Public Relations. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson        Education, Inc.

Stoldt G. S, Dittmore, S, and Branvold S, 2012. Sport Public Relations: Managing Stakeholder Communication. Human Kinetics.

Tench R. & Yeomans L., 2009. Exploring Public Relations, 2nd edn. England: Pearson       Education Limited.

Witmer, D. F, 2006. Overcoming system and culture boundaries: public relations from a    structuration perspective. Public relations theory II, 361-374.

ACED ESSAYS