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ICC Cricket World Cup West Indies 2007 – Venue Selection Process

Saunders-Franklyn Associates working with its network of Caribbean associates was under contract with the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 to handle the media relations and advise on communications in general for the very sensitive venue selection process for countries desirous of hosting matches in the ICC CWC 2007.

A key concern was to gain acceptance among politicians, officials and the general public for the Venue Assessment Team, a group of world games experts, mainly from outside the region, who were to advise the Board of ICC CWC on the venue selection.

SFA worked closely with the senior executives of ICC CWC 2007 on the strategy to address the venue selection process. A key CWC initiative that was exploited in terms of communications was the series of Venue Summits which brought together the persons preparing the bids of their respective countries. Pre-event releases highlighted the areas to be covered, speakers and regional participation in the Venue Summit. SFA coordinated attendance of regional media at these events which resulted in wide-spread media coverage and built excitement about the bid process. The SFA team arranged a major press conference at each Venue Summit with live radio and delayed TV broadcasts regionally to update and educate the public on the process. One on one interviews were also coordinated with delegates to give feedback on the process and their country’s preparation.

SFA ensured that there was close monitoring throughout the region, other cricketing countries and the US of media coverage and issues related to the venue selection process. This allowed CWC executives to deal with inaccuracies and avert potential crises. This role was particularly important in the final stages of the bid process when there was considerable confusion over the status of Trinidad’s bid, and SFA’s associate in Trinidad was able to provide regular feedback on developments in the media and on the ground.

The bid process was brought to a glorious end with the staging of the Award of Matches, a major televised event in Jamaica. SFA worked closely with the CWC team and a Jamaica-based event planner on the arrangements for the event and took responsibility for media relations and protocol. This included official correspondence, liaising with Prime Ministers, other officials, the ICC, and the television crew, working on the running order, setting up a media centre, arranging a press conference and interviews, preparing press releases and Q&A’s and handling global media relations on the announcement of the venues.

The National Insurance Scheme, Barbados – Pension Reform

On behalf of the Barbados Government, SFA conducted one of the largest public education campaigns ever undertaken in the country.

Initial focus groups were conducted that showed a very low level of awareness of NIS pensions and the need for reform. The government also wanted to consult with all stakeholders on the options for pension reform with a view to getting their preferences.

This was a highly complex issue to communicate as well as a potentially volatile one. Towards the end of the campaign, opinion polls and online surveys were carried out which showed that awareness of the issue had risen to 90%, with 60% of respondents in support of the reforms which are now being implemented.

The campaign employed all possible media, including television and radio discussion programmes; ads on TV, radio and in the press; information booth, hotline, website, community meetings, press conferences, multimedia presentations, youth outreach, stakeholders seminars and a national consultation process.

CARICOM – The Caribbean Court of Justice (Phase 1)

The CARICOM governments had agreed to the establishment of a Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), but needed the support of the Caribbean people to make it a reality. There was considerable opposition from the legal community and other commentators, particularly in Jamaica.

Subbsequent to SFA’s Caribbean-wide public education campaign, almost all CARICOM leaders, including Jamaica, signed the historic document to initiate the creation of the Court which was eventually inaugurated in April 2005.

SFA’s campaign included the production of leaflets, videos, an e-zine, TV promo, radio factoids, as well as conducting seminars and meetings throughout the region. Independent research showed awareness of 70% and a high level of support in most countries following the Phase 1 campaign.
CARICOM conducted the second phase themselves (primarily consultation) and SFA has also carried out research on their behalf in preparation for Phase 3.