"I would like to contact NASCAR, does anyone have a stamp?" It certainly is an interesting time to be an executive with NASCAR. Suddenly, the public's attention has turned from fascination with the drivers to scrutiny of the management team.
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Meanwhile, NASCAR is standing at a true communications crossroad. The company is struggling with new media issues and is years behind in its approach to Media Relations. There was no better example of that than Mike Helton's recent driver meeting.
In this day and age, who assembles professional athletes to take them to task about speaking-out in the media and then allows them to exit directly into that same media who have been waiting outside the door?
The results were predictable. Immediate reporting of the private meeting and anger at Helton for trying to curb free speech. Regardless of his intentions, mismanagement of both the media and the message caused the results.
The second recent problem occurred on a much grander scale. It was NASCAR Chairman Brian France slouched at a table with no necktie and mussed hair talking in circles about an issue he clearly did not understand.
That was the official NASCAR video sent around the world in response to a racially-charged discrimination lawsuit against the sanctioning body. Incredibly, NASCAR itself had arranged France's appearance in the Media Center in Michigan.
Immediately after he was done, the video was posted on websites from YouTube to ESPN.com. France instantly had gone "viral." That night, on both local TV stations and cable TV networks that footage was the face of the sport that bills itself as the most popular auto racing series in North America. (Watch Video)
How is it possible that no one took the time to prepare the Chairman in both content and appearance for this crucial moment? More at Daly Planet