A Public Relations Nightmare

Posted: September 20, 2011 in Public Relations, Topics of the Week

If there has ever been a time where Public Relations had no chance in saving an professional athlete’s reputation, it would be the Tiger Woods Scandal back in November of 2009. Apart from the multiple prescription medication addictions, there was also multitude of alleged sex partners that, unfortunately for Tiger, continued to pop up over the course of several months. There was almost nothing PR Pros could do but wait it out and see what other mysteries of Tiger’s private life surfaced.

Woods was Immediately taken off the golf course and out of the public eye. A month after the world of golf came to a screeching halt, Tiger was reported checking into a private rehabilitation center in Arizona in hopes of finding a solution to his sex and medication addictions. It wasn’t until the middle of February that he made his first appearance in front of the media to make an public apology.

The pro golfer’s advisors idea was to blame the sexual acts on the drug addictions, try to keep woods out of the media as much as possible and let the ordeal blow over before he stepped back into the spotlight. The problem was that the medication addictions were only allegations and Woods never elaborated on the treatment that he was receiving. Next, the golfers family was being invaded by the media and could not get away from paparazzi. Finally, the ordeal took months to blow over. There were still women coming out of the woodworks to claim that they had once had relations with Tiger.

I personally believe that taking Woods off of the golf course was a good idea, however, quarantining him for three months was not. If the golfer would have came right out and made his public apology within the next few weeks of the first press release, I think that it may not have been as extravagant of an event.

Confessing to allegations early and enrolling in a rehabilitation program may have had some consequences such as losing his major sponsors (Nike, AT&T, and Gillette), but they were obviously bound to discontinue anyway. If I were Woods’ advisor, I would try to convince him to get everything out on the table as quickly as possible, thus having plenty of time to deal with his family and his alleged “issues.”

  1. This really was a PR nightmare. His career will never be the same again. I also do not believe he handled the situation very well at all. He may have had a shot at gaining some people’s respect back if he has just apologized for what he had done, taken responsibility like an adult, and not blame it on a substance abuse. I believe his consequences of losing his major sponsors were mostly his fault in how he handled the situation. I agree that Tiger should have gotten EVERYTHING out as quickly as possible and as you said “thus having time to deal with his family and his alleged “issues””.

  2. […] response to “A Public Relations Nightmare” by Johnnie […]

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