Over the last couple months, one of the most admiring athletes in America, Tiger Woods, took a big fall with all of his cheating controversies. He went from being the most popular in the golfing world, to the most popular in the news and tabloids. The real question, is where did he go wrong? Obviously for starters, the affairs, the lying started it, but where did he go wrong in the recovery process, once the cheating was admitted.
Matthew Phillips from Newsweek wrote an article yesterday named, “The six biggest Public Relations blunders Tiger has made so far.” After reading through this article, i really began to understand how important PR is and how important it can be. A big part of PR is image, and Tiger sure has not done a great job at maintaining that. The six biggest blunders that Phillips mentioned were:
1. Deafening silence early and often
2. Refusal to meet with police in the first few days
3. Castigating the media
4. Refusing to go into details about what happened that night
5. March 21st interviews with the Golf Channel and ESPN
6. Should have played in a tournament before The Masters
As you can see, each one of these things has to do with his image, the first one, he is keeping things silent, not talking about them, which brought up speculation as to why he wasn’t talking, they wanted to hear from the person they looked up to, and he wasn’t talking. The second point, refusing to meet with the police, many looked at this as he was hiding something if he was refusing to talk to him, meaning he was lying, which ultimately leads to the lessening of his credibility. The third point, him punishing the media. This in a sense speaks for itself, he is punishing the media for trying to better understand what is going on, because he chooses to keep these things private, when that is nearly impossible, because the other women have made it public. The fourth point is that he is refusing to go into any details about what happened that night. If he wasn’t hiding something, and trying to save himself, he would talk about it, most people would. The fifth point is him doing the March 21st interviews with the Golf Channel and ESPN. He wasn’t very prepared for them and didn’t talk or say much in them, and the questions that were asked really didn’t have much of a connection with the scandal. And lastly, the sixth point, he should have played his first match somewhere other than, and before the Masters. The Masters is already one of the most watched sporting events, and now, with this being Tigers return, it will be crazier than ever.
So as you can see, Tiger isn’t doing so well in the PR world right now, he has made a few mistakes, to say the least. All of these things that Phillips has pointed out, has in one way or another affected the way people look at him. With image being such an important part of public relations and its what we as PR professionals work with, that it seems to me that Tiger is still on his downward slope, and if these types of things continue, he may never surface in a positive light.
Below is a quote from a PR Blog stating the important role of Public relations, and it emphasizes the importance of image.
“As public image is important to all agencies and famous personalities the role of public relations specialist gets to be pertinent in crisis scenarios. Public relations agencies offer essential and well-timed transmission of information that assists save the face of the organization.”
I know that many of us, as we work on our group campaigns are working with the image of our clients, and trying to improve them. So we can begin to understand how important Tiger Woods’s personal PR is, because of his name and achievements, so can you just imagine, if a scandal happened with your client, and a similar situation arose, where the client made similar PR mistakes, what would you do to try and improve the image of that client?
What do you think? Do you think that Tiger has made some mistakes when it comes to his personal PR? Do you think that he can recover from this? or do you think that he is too far in the hole? What could he do to help give himself a better PR image after all the damage that has been done?
Also, what do you think about Phillips’s points, do you think they are accurate? Why?