Danny Rogers: Keep pressure on to ensure sporting legacy

Bog standard communication is saying what people want to hear. Excellent communication is proving you have listened to what your audience needs (customers, voters, shareholders), meeting that demand with panache, and demonstrating that you will continue to do so.

Danny Rogers: We need further investment in sport
Danny Rogers: We need further investment in sport

Outstanding communication - or leadership - is showing people what they want before they even realise they wanted it.

Therein lies the comms challenge for many stakeholders in what has so far been a sensational London 2012. Unfortunately politicians so often appear to be stuck at comms first base.

It is not difficult to see that the Olympic Games ignited public passion and were a powerful showcase for both Great Britain and a variety of sports. Unfortunately we also see a procession of politicians and dignitaries jumping on the bandwagon to seize a piece of the glory.

But beyond the celebrations there is a clear public consensus for more investment in British sport.

Over the past two weeks, the Government has gradually - and patchily - responded to this consensus by announcing a series of initiatives, such as the (rather obvious) appointment of Lord Coe as London 2012 legacy ambassador.

And yet one still senses the Government is reacting, rather than responding, to this important groundswell of support for sport.

The media, which have put almost a majority of their journalists on to sporting stories for the past month, have applied huge pressure on politicians to tackle an underlying crisis in British society. We are a nation grappling with a dangerously sedate lifestyle and earlier scandalous political decisions to sell off school playing fields and slash funding of grassroots sports.

While this pressure has been on, the Government has reluctantly bowed to some demands. But as public life returns to 'normal' this autumn, one fears these plans will be quietly dropped. This must not be allowed to happen.

The Olympics showed the potential of sport to unite and to give meaning and purpose to people's lives. Investment of just hundreds of millions of pounds - half of what Sir Philip Green can earn in one year - can transform this nation for the better. It can cut obesity, save the NHS money, create economic growth and reduce youth criminality.

It is incumbent on all of us to keep the pressure on the powers that can make a difference. Moreover we must urge our politicians to move beyond platitudes, towards true leadership on this era-defining issue for the nation.

Danny Rogers is PRWeek's editor-in-chief.

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