You probably looked at the headline of this blog post and said “what does Tiger have to do with us in event & entertainment marketing”? My answer is: what he did wrong.
Yes, of course his “transgressions” were wrong and there is no excuse for them. But I am talking about his PR blunders. I continue to be shocked and amazed how companies and people (famous & not famous) screw up the handling of the PR message. Lawyers, managers, PR execs, and agents are always telling their clients to “keep quiet”. I understand why they want them not to say anything. The more someone talks, the deeper in shit they get. However, staying quiet is all in the timing. If you stay quiet too long you raise more red flags.
In the case of Tiger, he and his people made this into a bigger media deal. They did this by the handling of the situation. The story first broke in the late morning. The incident happened in the middle of the night. This means several hours had passed by the time the story went public. Why did it take so long for his team to respond? The correct crafted statement could have really taken the wind out of the media frenzy. Instead, they said nothing for a long time. When they did say something it was a very cryptic message that raised even more media attention.
In our business things are going to happen that require a PR crisis response. How we handle the PR can make all the difference. Long before a crisis rears its ugly head you should have a plan. Work with your legal team. Discuss “what if” scenarios with them. The legal people are there to protect you from legal and civil courts but they don’t represent you in the court of the media or public opinion. There needs to be a balance. Make sure you ready on both sides.
Have a great weekend!