Monday, November 30, 2009

Dear Tiger Woods, Here is Some Free PR Advice

Dear Tiger Woods:

First, I am glad that you were not seriously injured in your early morning car crash. At least not PHYSICALLY injured. I am afraid that the damage done to your reputation may be much more serious. And whoever is providing you with advice on how to handle this crisis should be sued for malpractice.

Here is what you need to do: 'fess up.

If there was a domestic problem that caused you to race out of your driveway (slowly, of course) in the wee hours of the morning, say so. No details are necessary, just a brief, "Elin and I had a disagreement and I went for a ride to cool off." Such an admission will help to humanize you in the eyes of the public and generate a lot of sympathy from your core audience, us guys.

If there was not a problem on the home front, step up to the microphone and say so. Go directly to the public yourself and tell them that nothing happened, end of story.

All this hiding behind your lawyers makes you look bad. Guilty. Wimpy, even.

Your golf game has always been bold and honest. Now is not the time to take a different direction with a very public part of your personal life.

And fire the PR guy.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Social Media is Not New.

I attended an excellent seminar recently on social media (blogs, Twitter, on-line communities, etc., etc.). The event was sponsored by the Publicity Club of New England and presented by Lois Kelly of Beeline Labs. Lois gave the most coherent overview of a fragmented and sometimes confusing world of new technology, shifting responsibilities and frighteningly fleeting opportunities.

But what I came away with was a sense of deja vu. For, despite the amazing technology that gives us the ability to connect with so many people, the success of social media still comes down to a statement Lois made late in her presentation:

"If you want people to be interested, be interesting."

It still comes down to the story. It has always been about the story. If you don't have something worthwhile to say that provides value, and say it clearly and compellingly, it does not matter how you deliver the message - it won't be effective.

Social media is merely new channels. Capturing attention and motivating action are still the same. Having a strong story and tell it convincingly is still the core of successful marketing.