PR Week: PR Pros give 'car crash' #Piegate stunt a red card

The #Piegate publicity stunt has been labelled as "car-crash PR" by comms experts, although brands are looking to cash in on beleaguered Sutton goalkeeper Wayne Shaw.

Shaw resigned after he was seen eating what appeared to be a pie during the second half of the non-league side's fifth-round FA Cup clash with Arsenal on Monday night (20 February).

Before the game the club's shirt sponsor, Sun Bets, was offering odds of 8-1 against him doing so, which Shaw reportedly knew about. He is now under investigation by the FA and the Gambling Commission.

However, the PR industry has been quick to point out how ill-conceived the stunt was.

Bleacher Report: Solving Samir Nasri's PR Crisis

A few minutes before 1 p.m. local time on Tuesday, Dec. 27, a tweet launched from the account of Los Angeles-based sports clinic Drip Doctors. It claimed to have administered a drip to French international Samir Nasri, designed "to keep him hydrated and in top health during his busy soccer season with Sevilla."

If true, one litre of hydration fluid would have been delivered to Nasri, in direct contravention of the World Anti-Doping Agency's allowance for intravenous drips, which are limited to 50 millilitres. The Spanish anti-doping agency is investigating, and the midfielder Nasri, at Sevilla on loan from Manchester City, could face a ban of up to four years.

So, how do you solve a problem like Nasri's reputation?

David Alexander has been looking after footballers for 14 years as managing director of Calacus, a public relations agency in London.

PR Week: Can Sam Allardyce's reputation bounce back from the Telegraph's sting operation?

England manager Sam Allardyce's reputation lay in tatters this morning following a sting in the Telegraph in which he allegedly advised undercover reporters how to "get around" strict FA rules on player transfers and offered his services as a keynote speaker for £400,000.

A 10-month investigation into bribery and corruption in British football led to reporters arranging a meeting with Allardyce in last month, less than a month after he was hired to the £3-million a year job of England manager.

For David Alexander, founder of specialist sports PR agency Calacus, there is no way back for the England boss. He said: "The revelations in the Telegraph are as damning as they are embarrassing and it's hard to see what Allardyce can do to salvage the situation."

PR Week: PR fault: Sharapova's failure to come clean puts ball in sponsors' court

Maria Sharapova's drugs ban and her public reaction to the suspension do serious damage to her image and long-term prospects, PR professionals told PRWeek UK today - but another sponsorships expert still argues that the Russian's partner brands should not be too hasty to end their relationship with her.

Sharapova had announced in March that she had tested positive for a banned substance, meldonium, which she had been taking on advice from a doctor for several years, but which had since been put on the banned list. She was praised for the way she proactively controlled the message in her initial announcement – and her racquet supplier Head said she had been "courageous" when it announced its decision to continue working with her.

Yesterday, her two-year ban was announced by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) following a hearing last month. Sharapova shared her reaction on her Facebook page.

David Alexander, MD of Calacus PR and a former sports writer for various UK papers, points out that this statement does not mention her legal argument – revealed in the ITF judgement – that a ban would cause the former world number one "a very substantial loss of earnings and sponsorships, exclusion from the 2016 Olympics, and irreparable damage to her reputation".

The New Indian Express: Manchester United sack managers the hard way

There is no easy way to sack a Premier League manager and Manchester United have found that out the hard way with their firing of Louis Van Gaal.

Some are calling the manner of the Dutchman's departure from United a "public relations disaster" for England's most famous club as it prepares to name Jose Mourinho.

The Dutchman was "apparently informed" of his impending departure by his wife Truus on Saturday night after United had won the FA Cup, the BBC reported. She had just read a news report on the Internet.

Van Gaal's predecessor David Moyes also found that he was to be fired from the media before he was told by Manchester United.

Calacus sports public relations agency managing director David Alexander said: "It is a public relations disaster for news to leak that he was to be replaced almost before his team had even changed out of their playing kit after savouring an extra-time victory at Wembley."