Thanks to Jeff Chatterton from Checkmate Public Affairs for doing an awesome job in answering all the questions in Sports Geek Nation AMA.

Full Transcript available in the Sports Geek Nation Member's Area.

Here's the highlight question from the Sports Geek Nation AMA with Jeff Chatterton.

About Jeff Chatterton

Jeff Chatterton help sports teams and major venues end bad publicity through his company Checkmate Public Affairs, based in Canada. At last count, he handles crisis PR for the venues hosting 9 NBA, NHL, NFL and Major League Baseball teams.

Connect with Jeff Chatterton on Twitter @jchatterton, LinkedIn and Slack @Jeff Chatterton

Find out more about Checkmate Public Affairs at

Q&A Highlight

Liam Bednarski Question on Jeff Chatterton

Jeff Chatterton:

@liambednarski … dude… I wish there was a magic formula for that.

A couple of observations: You never see firefighters run into a building. You don’t see paramedics run into an apartment. They walk.

They walk for two reasons… no one needs injured paramedics. And it’s important to keep everyone calm.

Most of the time, I’m not dealing with “Oh my God, the building is on fire” type situations. Those are easy to fix. Get out. Problem solved. I get called the day after with “So, it turns out our fire extinguishers were expired by four days… it wouldn’t have made any difference, but I’m afraid the media is going to hear about it.”

That’s not a panic situation – that’s a ‘swallow hard… take a minute to think… and do what’s best in the name of truth, honesty and credibility.’ No running involved… but I am going to ‘walk’ very purposefully and with intent towards a specific direction.

(OK – that may be a crappy metaphor. Work with me.)

The second observation is that I have the right to fire clients. I’ve never fired anyone for panicking but I will fire them if they’re not completely honest right from the start with me.

When I get called into a situation, I do have some very explicit rules and expectations, and I make sure the client and the staff all agree with them. Once everyone is on the same page, we can get work done.

If you can’t get everyone on the same page, the job becomes impossible.

More Sports Geek Nation AMA Questions you missed

  • Can you give everyone some background on your sports business journey and what topics/questions fit in with your experience?
  • What is the most intense situation you have flown in on your cape to salvage? What made it so difficult and what did you learn?
  • What are the effects of social media in dealing with crisis problems?
  • What steps do you implement in the ‘before' stages to reduce the damage of a potential issue?
  • How do you provide proactive services without being invasive to the client?
  • How do you break unfortunate, cold or harsh realities to a client?
  • Have you any scenarios whereby you’ve managed to positively spin a crisis and/or a client has actually come out the other end in an improved light?

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Read answers in Sports Geek Nation Slack #AMA channel or read on Sports Geek

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