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Why Singapore football coach Raddy Avramovic should employ a PR manager

Singapore football coach Raddy Avramovic had one of the worst off the field interviews with the media. Instead of getting the media on his side, he has now become the butt of mobile phone jokes with the local media.

Wrote Bryan Huang for The Straits Times who called the coach Singapore’s latest phone guru,

National coach Raddy Avramovic gave the attending media a piece of his mind on buying phones, with his little analogy when asked about rumours that local football hero Fandi Ahmad might become his assistant coach.

"I think this reminds me of something," Avramovic said. "If you go to a Sony shop and you ask...agent of Sony which mobile phone he will recommend you, I don't think he will recommend you Samsung or Motorola."

His quote, reported in The New Paper on Thursday, left many people wondering what he was implying.

There were two opportunities during the media interview that Raddy could have made use of to turn the session in his favour, but the lack of media training showed with his answers.

The first question posed to him was about the rumours that he had offered to tender his resignation after Singapore’s worst ever performance at the Suzuki Cup where Singapore failed to qualify beyond the group stage.

Raddy, however, chose the defensive route and blame the media for going against him and reporting lies. This got The New Paper sports editor to reply in a strong worded letter.

Wrote S Murali, sports editor for The New Paper,

So you attacked the media. You accused the media of telling lies.

Don't believe their sources, you said.

Ask the FAS officials.

Guess what, Raddy.

We did. And they WERE our sources.

When The New Paper was about to publish a story on your rather hefty $35,000-a-month salary (plus perks), one of your FAS employers, while defending you, tried to tell us to give you a break.

Raddy should have taken the opportunity to bridge the question in his favour by showing Remorse and Reason for Singapore’s exit of the Suzuki Cup, and end it with a Remedy to improve the Singapore team.

Here is what Raddy should have replied to the question of rumours of him offering his resignation.

Raddy: The national team was a major disappointment to the supporters of Team Singapore and I will not be surprised if there are calls for my head on the chopping board. I, as coach,  apologise for the national team’s early exit of the Suzuki Cup.

There were Reasons for Singapore’s exit and here are the reasons..

Yes, the entire national team has been disbanded and this will allow us to refocus to improve the team’s performance. We will be focusing on….. (Highlight the Remedy to improve the Singapore football team.)

Simple three steps to turn the media into friends instead of turning them into the enemy.

The second opportunity came when the media asked him about the possibility of Singapore’s football icon, Fandi Ahmad, returning to the national team to play a coaching role.

This was when Raddy went into his disastrous mobile phone analogy which no one understood or left it to dubious interpretation.

Fandi Ahmad is look upon as a national icon thus attacking him with a strange mobile phone analogy would have gotten many Singaporeans, including the media, up in arms against the national coach.

Rather, Raddy should have quickly highlighted that the appointment depended on the Football Association of Singapore but be a gentleman by highlighting that if the appointment of Fandi Ahmad as assistant coach could help boost the moral of the Singapore team and improve performance on the field, this appointment should come sooner than later.

Most of the feedback I get from ex-clients or clients to be that the media is the enemy and interviews often go wrong because of them.

I disagree. The interviewee is often in control of the media interview with the answers they provide. Some questions need not be answered directly but can be answered indirectly.

Thus, Raddy should have gone through media training to learn how to deal with the media offline, despite awful performance on the field.

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