The Media Trainers®
John Edwards, David Letterman, Tiger Woods. Which one doesn’t belong? Yes, they all had extramarital affairs. But only Letterman broke the news himself and thereby took some control over the story.
Edwards tried to play hide-and-seek so long, in the end he looked incredibly foolish. Somehow he thought he could dodge the bullet.
In Woods’ case, he had both those incidents from which to learn and decided on the wrong lesson. He could’ve gotten ahead of this story on his terms, instead of being forced to respond on someone else’s.
A post-midnight one car crash into a tree and fire hydrant, inside an exclusive Florida gated community. The driver: Tiger Woods. Considering the late hour of the “accident” just outside his home, somehow, in your gut, you knew it was much more than it appeared.
And so it was. It took 6 days of intrigue, with the world watching and wondering, receiving at one point an ambiguous online statement.
Inevitably an information vacuum quickly developed, only to be filled by the physics of gossip, rumor, speculation and innuendo.
Communication professionals could see clearly what was at stake by remaining silent. One in particular,edit30, Insight for Business Communicators, recognized Woods for what he’s become, a brand. And brands live, or die, on perceptions. Communicators understand how news and information are spread today, both in terms of speed and validity. And they learn from the mistakes of others’ past experiences. Unfortunately, their advice is too often ignored, if even solicited.