Interaction of Communication From the Sport Organization, Media, and Public Perspectives: How Does Messaging Relate and Differ?

in Journal of Sport Management
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  • 1 Northern Illinois University
  • 2 Georgia State University
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Sport organizations, the media, and the public frequently interact. Messages conveyed by organizations and the media likely impact both groups’ communication strategies to reach target audiences and control messaging. This triad of communication—team–media–public—is often examined in segments (e.g., media framing or public reaction to media), even though the three interact. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine differences in message themes and responses from all perspectives on a common topic. Following a major announcement from a professional sport organization, the researchers conducted a content analysis of communication from three perspectives: the team, local press, and citizens. The results showed that each of the three sources provided distinct, original content that became increasingly linked to that of the other sources over time. Sport practitioners could use the findings to better understand the influence of outside sources of communication and utilize social media in their public relations efforts.

McGehee is with the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL. Cianfrone and Kellison are with the Department of Kinesiology and Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA.

McGehee (gmcgehee@niu.edu) is the corresponding author.
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