PR: The Good, Bad and Ugly
Tiger’s PR Fiasco: The Plot Thickens
by Michelle Fowler on 12/04/2009
Tabloids And Breaking News
To continue the trend of typically non-credible tabloid sources breaking headline news – you may recall TMZ confirming Michael Jackson’s death back in June – the gossip magazine US Weekly announced on its front page this morning that they have exclusive details about Tiger Woods’ 31-month affair with LA cocktail waitress Jaimee Grubbs, including documented proof in the form of 300 text messages and a voicemail left by Woods on Nov. 24.
Tell It All And Tell It Fast
In light of these new allegations, which came only days after Woods’ highly publicized car crash outside his Florida home, the golf superstar has made a rare posting on his Web site in which he apologizes for his “transgressions” against his family. Tiger’s PR team had seemingly crafted the perfect spin on the car crash incident by both releasing transparent personal statements from Woods himself while at the same time drawing attention to the ethical violations involving the media imposing on the athlete’s personal privacy.
Unfortunately for Woods, both tactics have become somewhat irrelevant in this case. Despite careful planning, Tiger broke the cardinal rule of public relations crisis management: tell it all and tell it fast. If he thought he was doing the public and himself a favor by speaking up about the car crash and coinciding accusations of a domestic violence issue that may have contributed to it, he was severely mistaken.
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
The media have learned to be skeptical and are begrudging and unforgiving once the truth comes out. Although his most recent statement on his Web site expresses his deepest wishes to be left to deal with current matters personally and privately, Woods’ request may not be taken as graciously as it was given.
Once again, let this be a lesson to all public figures: with great power comes great responsibility.