No media policy, the best policy

May 25, 2017 | By

More than 20 officials have been reportedly appointed in the PCB’s media, social media and marketing department on lucrative salaries and lavish perks. However, their performances are not visible anywhere.

On a number of occasions the PCB media officials have failed to highlight what PCB is doing and what its plans are for tackling the issues confronting Pakistan cricket.

PCB high ups Shaharyar Khan and Najam Sethi have been facing print and electronic media critics with no satisfactory responses or rebuttals.

At National Stadium Karachi (NSK) office, there has been no media officer for the last one year and a half. The department at NSK is being run by a low grade official

Indeed the responsibility of failure of PCB’s media officials lies with both these high ups. Sethi is himself a seasoned journalist and knows its importance very well, but why PCB’s media people are not being utilized properly is incomprehensible.

It is most surprising that all media officers are sitting at PCB head office in Lahore.

At National Stadium Karachi (NSK) office, there has been no media officer for the last one year and a half. The department at NSK is being run by a low grade official.

It is unfortunate that PCB authorities are neglecting such a big city, whose population is more than dozens of countries. They don’t even realize its importance from the marketing point of view.

As far as the professional efficiency of its media officials are concerned, serious questioned have been raised. If a reporter asks them a simple thing related to cricket issues, they only say they don’t know and will ask the officials concerned. And it takes two to three days.

If a question is hard and its answer is likely to bring PCB’s inefficiency to the fore, he will not be available for any comment.

One thing is clear: PCB does not have a media policy. Perhaps PCB high officials feel that no policy is the best policy in the current circumstances. A lot of people have been appointed in the media and social media department but nobody knows who their boss is. Even they themselves don’t know.

Some of them must be intelligent, vibrant, knowledgeable and studious but they have not been trained how to respond to journalists and how to highlight PCB’s activities.

If they are compared with other test playing countries a big difference is observed.

Perhaps the government of Punjab, the most populated province in the country, will not have so many media and social media officials as PCB has. There are more than 20 persons in the media department. And some sources say their number is more than 30.

If we see the performance of these people, one thing is clear that there is no media policy in the PCB.

If we visit the PCB website, everything should become clear: what PCB is doing, news, views, analyses and stories.

Pakistan team for the first time won a test series in West Indies, but the so called media and social media department failed to highlight this great success.

When Pakistan’s two great players were playing their last Test series, the PCB’s heavy media management failed to highlight anything.

Aun Zaidi failed to highlight anything. He is often seen with the team taking photos of players on different occasions during foreign tours. Is taking photographs the responsibility of a social media officer?

Pakistan cricketers Shoaib Malik, his wife tennis star Sania Mirza, Shahid Afridi, Ahmed Shahzad, Hafeez and other know the importance of social media and they use twitter and other tools to spread their views. Their videos go viral.

But PCB chairman’s clarification of his statement regarding Pakistan and India Test series that was misquoted was there on the PCB website, but it had not been shared at facebook.

There is no detail about the domestic players. If anyone wants to see their profile and records, he will find nothing at the PCB website.

In the domestic players search bar just the name bar is working and the rest are useless. Even the stats and profiles of the international players are not given.

The laziness of PCB media officials and website officials can be judged from the fact that International Calendar has not been updated after Asia Cup 2015/16. And no one in the PCB is taking notice.

Aun Zaidi is always visiting foreign countries with the team. What is his standing in journalism? He is working these days as head of PCB’s social media team

PCB high ups may not see such mistakes due to their workload but even Chief Operating Officer (COO) Subhan Ahmed and other high officials also fail to take notice of this.

There is no detail of women cricket calendar even though it is given a lot of importance at international level. Even the domestic calendar is not updated. The Vintage section has not been updated since November 2014.

In Blogs section, there has been no addition since January 2017. The Editor’s Pick has not been updated since September 2016.

It seems that PCB has decided itself that it does not want media promotion. A lot of important work related to media and marketing has been outsourced. Cricket lovers did not forget that in last English tour in 2016, four media persons travelled to England, each of them for fifteen days, only for joy trip.

Informed sources say that the people appointed in the media department cannot write a single line of press release and don’t know what the requirements of a news item are.

Aun Zaidi is always visiting foreign countries with the team. What is his standing in journalism? He is working these days as head of PCB’s social media team.

Emmad Hameed has recently joined PCB. He used to work for a private TV channel and so knows the importance and requirements of social media. Let’s see how he brings changes in the social media and run the department.

But he should remember that after joining PCB, he is on the other side of the table and not in a position to ask cricket authorities. Instead he will have to cover up the wrongdoings of PCB and highlight the good things.

Media department failed to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of the 1992 Cricket World Cup triumph — Pakistan’s greatest ever success.

Even if children want to spread anything on social media they have dozens of tricks to highlight their issues.

In just a few minutes, hundreds of thousands of people are viewing and sharing their updates. Lily Singh, an Indian-origin Canadian youtuber, has more than 10 million subscribers.

And she is a one-man team. And there are scores of people who have millions of followers. And PCB’s? Forget it!

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