Sports PR: The Rise of Women and the Struggles they Face

movement public relations

The feminist movement recently received a lot of criticism for veering off its traditional path. Many people – even other women – believe feminism and women’s rights should focus on more traditional and universal issues like equal pay; and ignore other issues, like the harassment women face on the streets or at their jobs.

However, this video helps to remind men and women everywhere that women’s rights and issues deserve attention, whether the specific issue is universal or not. In the video, female sports writers Sarah Spain and Julie DiCaro listen to tweets from men in sports. In the tweets, anonymous men wish them everything from rape to being beaten to death with a hockey stick – and all for just doing their job.

Teaming up with PR to Raise Awareness

Just Not Sports worked alongside Weber Shandwick and FleishmanHillard to create the video. Not only does it expose some of the harassment women face online, but it puts a more human component to it than just seeing the words on screen or paper. To emphasize this, the video states, “We wouldn’t say it to their faces, so let’s not type it.”


The short attention span and need for immediate gratification is a common feature of most consumer markets these days – viewers especially. As a result, content creators use audio-visuals to grab the viewer’s attention. Audio-visuals have become so important that even online recipes now come in the form of quick videos, as opposed to the traditional list of ingredients and instructions we all grew up reading in books.

So, the team was wise to use this format to raise awareness. By viewing the actual situation as it occurred, it made the whole experience more intense and therefore more effective. The effect would not have been the same, had they chosen to just write an article or research paper regarding their experience. Seeing is believing.


The video’s approach to raising awareness came in the form of storytelling; heralded as the new and improved way of doing public relations. Rather than rely on facts and figures to prove the point, they found a way to make the issue more “relatable.”

This injected an emotional component, as both men and women genuinely reacted with hurt and disgust to the harassment. This emotional component moves more people to action than mere facts.

The Bigger Issue

But this team isn’t the only one to weigh in on the harassment of female sportswriters. Sports Illustrated also touched on the issue in a published article last year. The article exposed several incidents of sexual harassment, slander, and just general unprofessional behavior that many women in sports journalism faced, because of gender.

It also focused on the difficulty for women in filing suits, because they can’t always prove these things happen, or identify the perpetrators. It’s a continual uphill battle for these women whose everyday realities are no less important or deserving of attention than equal pay in America or not turning children into brides in rural Africa.

Over the past few years, many minority groups have pushed their causes to raise awareness of their plight and gain more favorable treatment. This was true for the LGBT struggle and the Black Lives Matter campaign. Now, women’s issues continually move to the forefront around the globe, with a little help from creative thinkers and public relations campaigns.

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