Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tiger Woods

Notes from interview with NBC-TV Channel 5 December 2. It was last Friday that Tiger Woods caused a great deal of damage to his Escalade (I thought he drove Buicks)see It was not a minor accident. The real accident is to Tiger Wood's reputation and "brand". Despite his plaintive appeals for privacy; he built his career on the basis of this golf skills shown on the media and reported in the media. As a "public figure" he must be willing to subject himself to even the tacky "journalism" of US magazine and the National Enquirer. All CEO's and corporate officers of "public companies" as well as NGOs (non-governmental organizations), government, education, military have this same obligation. Journalism is now available to all of us (witness this essay)and photo opps are as close as your cell phone. Tiger Woods should have 1. responded by Saturday p.m. with a personal statement. He should have had his team of advisers (crisis consultants, public relations experts, sports management talent) arrange a personal appearance on Oprah or with Katie Couric. If he is clear on his desire to save his relationships in his family and if his wife, Elin, will "stand by her man", then he would be more the master of his own fate. With his sterile postings to his website of "fill in the blank" (David Letterman, Eliot Spitzer, Michael Jordon, Bill Clinton) I have sinned press release, he lost a modest amount of control over his message. 1. he should have personally responded immediately (or least in 12 hours)- recall VP Chaney quail hunting debacle. 2. he should have apologized to his family (Letterman forgot the first night and came back the second night with an apology) and his fans. 3. as an entertainer especially in a sport at his level he should have not asked for privacy, but understanding. 4. If he was having marital problems he should have said so as he finally did five days later. At least the speculation, rumors, even tapes would have had some context and been less newsworthy. 5. He continued to behave as if "it would go away" when he fostered the problem. Others, less ethical media, filled in the blanks for their readers who include even the legitimate press who were "forced" to run the story reported by others. We are supposed to be transparent (open practice of honesty and ethics). 6. He needed a crisis plan. See 2003 Caywood and Englehart. Finally, his sports endorsements are another subject. For a discussion of the "morality clause" See Unless he can repair the damage without hiding behind his website (not social or conversational media); he is likely to lose some endorsements in the near future. P&G Gillette, Nike Golf, Gatorade, ATT, Upper Deck, Accenture, Tag Heuer, Buick, TLC Vision, Netjet reportedly generating $100 million per year. I still believe he can recapture his position and get out of the "sand trap". _

1 comment:

Chirag Gupta said...

When an incident like this occurs, is there typically collaboration between the celebrity's and the sponsor's crisis management? In this case, is it likely that Accenture collaborated with Tiger Woods' PR team or is it more likely a one-way street?