It’s probable that Tiger Woods has the best, most expensive PR hacks in the business. So, what happened to their expertise when he needed it?
Tiger Woods let 13 hours lapse after Friday’s early-morning accident without issuing an explanation, he ceded control of his story not only to legitimate news outlets, but also to celebrity gossip mongers on the hunt for a tale –- made up or otherwise -– of adultery and mayhem. The story of Tiger’s first major off-the-course bogey was in their sights and the race was on to fill in the juicy details.
What are the basic rules in a public relations crisis? Communications executive Kevin Sullivan:
Tell it first, tell it yourself and tell it all. That is the tried and true formula for handling a messy public relations crisis in the smoothest possible way.
Tiger’s problem is that we’ve seen plenty of public figures in hot water make stern denials only to later be backpedaled into confessions after third parties talk or more information is unearthed. Remember the cases of Marion Jones, Michael Vick and Pete Rose, to name a few -– along with a parade of politicians, most recently former Senator and Presidential candidate John Edwards –- who misled and later came clean.
When you’re on top of the world there’s only one way to go.