During our Business Continuity classes, we always tell clients that the media, with unlimited airtime to fill, will create the news if you don’t give it to them. So we work with our clients to build a set of press releases, and strongly encourage their management to go to media training to learn the basics of dealing with the media. If you are in a highly visible position, even having a media firm do your press releases and media relations is absolutely critical.
If you don’t believe me, look at one very costly example going on right now. Can you guess it? In two words “Tiger Woods transgressions”. Ok, you got me, that’s three words. But anytime anyone says “Tiger” I always think of Woods first and the animal second.
How does the predicament Tiger finds himself in right now have anything to do with your company?
First, what does he have to sell? His image. What do you have to sell? Your product, represented by your image. Your image is extremely critical when it comes to attracting new customers or keeping existing ones. How would it look if your company were suffering the same scrutiny that Tiger is under right now? Could your business survive the intensive digging by groups that are trying to create news, even if it isn’t there?
What could Tiger have done differently?
Make a serious statement, not something ambiguous on your website. Face the music! Pay the piper! David Letterman had the same transgressions (caught on film!) and he hasn’t suffered the same trouble Tiger has. If you don’t believe me, check out what the Wall Street Journal has to say! The hardest part of this entire news blitz on Tiger… Currently, there is no hard proof! There’s a lot of conjecture and speculation, but to date, there is no smoking gun. To make matters worse, now ESPN reports the police believe he was driving under the influence! Again, no proof, just people trying to get their 15 minutes of fame.
I guarantee there will be someone who stands in a golf store this year and buys Callaway (endorsed by Phil Mickelson who’s wife is fighting cancer) golf balls instead of Nike (endorsed by Tiger Woods… enough said). Please make sure when someone is trying to decide if they should buy your product, they aren’t swayed by bad press and make the wrong decision. Have your recovery plan up to date with press releases and media statements ready to go! The camera lights are bright and unforgiving!
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