Public Relations Officers (PROs), or Communications Officers, are vital for any team.
This is because they act as message conveyers or damage control professionals for their respective teams. The absence of one can either make or break the team, depending on how the person holding the position handles matters.
PROs should also be very vocal on behalf of their teams and should always keep all stakeholders informed with the latest news about their team.
Surprisingly, most elected team PROs rarely make contact with the media to introduce themselves, even at their teams’ games, they are hardly seen mingling around with supporters.
The so-called big teams should be the leading figures in such exercises but it seems they are doing little. Some supporters even go to the extent of questioning the appointments of certain officers who they believe do not make any contributions to the team.
PROs should know local football more, but most of them appear to be thrust into such positions without full knowledge about the team they should be promoting or the game of football itself.
Currently, the most vocal and prominent PR officer is Mochudi Centre Chiefs’ Clifford Mogomotsi. The man is never economic with information about his team, regardless of the difficulties the team finds itself in.
Mogomotsi always has time for interviews or queries.
He also has a very good knowledge of local football, and this shows he has been in the sport for a very long time and is not in his position by mistake.
The last PR officer who could be said to have been outstanding for Township Rollers was Aaron ‘Route 4′ Radira but since he left, there has been little voice from the team.
Even when major developments are unfolding, they are mostly heard about through the grapevine. Radira’s successor, Molathegi Mangole, who has just left, knew local football very well but somehow it looked as if his professional conduct left a lot to be desired. He sometimes uttered sensitive statements about the team in public.
For instance, a few months ago during the Orange Kabelano Charity Cup when Rollers engaged ECCO City Green, Mangole said on Radio Botswana that he did not go to the game as a Rollers representative but in his own capacity. That, on its own, put his credibility and that of the team in the spotlight. That also showed that he had differences with the team, something which he should not have hinted at in public. Currently, the post is vacant at the team.
Gaborone United, on the other hand, had a vibrant PRO in Atamelang Thaga who knew what it takes to lead the team’s communications department.
Thaga has since left after being elected councilor in Serowe. Radio personality Losika ‘Luzboy’ Seboni has since taken over the seat. His credibility has since come under scrutiny because of the way he sometimes handles interviews. Other people see him best suited as a marketer than being PRO.
GU might have wanted to rope him in as a popular radio personality in the hope to boost the team’s support while his knowledge of local football is questionable, especially considering some controversial statements he sometimes makes.
Gunners’ voice, on the other hand, started to be heard after the appointment of Kitso Dlamini who is always busy with the team’s activities.
Dlamini has since been redeployed to take care of the marketing department to pave way for Cassim Dada.
Dada is not doing a bad job either and is a man who knows the culture of the team very well. During the team’s glorious years in the mid nineties, he was there for the team.
Nothing much is being heard about Ecco City since their former PROs, Chris Dube and Nelson Legwatagwata, were voted out of office.
Despite being based in Francistown, information was easily available. Other northern sides like Tafic and Tasc are mainly heard of when they are facing serious challenges, as is currently the case.