Crisis and reputation PR experts believe the Tiger Woods presser was ineffective this morning, if you could call it a press conference. Only the three wire services were able to be on-site. As we mentioned this morning, the Golf Writers of America voted unanimously to boycott Woods’ statement reading unless it is opened to all accredited media.
The star golfer was stiff, over rehearsed, though he did finally frame the conversation–three months too late. Though anyone could have predicted he’d avoid the details of the actual incident that occurred on Thanksgiving night, no answers were given except a staunchly worded defense of his wife Elin Nordegren on domestic violence questions. He did apologize for his marital transgressions: “For all that I have done, I am so sorry,” Woods said. “I have a lot to atone for.”
The mention of his Buddhist faith was a surprise, likely aimed back at the Brit Hume controversy from last month.
Fox News and ABC News Now had savvy self-promoters Peter Shankman and Ronn Torossian on hand respectively for commentary (screenshots and clips as they become available).
Here’s what our sources, and a handful of industry Tweeters think:
“It is not a press conference if you don’t let press ask questions! Tiger Woods’ so-called ‘press conference’ and canned apology was a mistake. Everything he said was predictable; it was too little, too late.
Tiger needs to go back to doing what he does best, which is playing golf. It is a huge mistake not to return to the course immediately.
He has forfeited any chance of endorsing credible brands. I would never advise my clients to hire Tiger as a spokesperson. Nike should have dropped his endorsement deal months ago and I wouldn’t be surprised if they terminate it soon. Credible brands will not forgive him for misrepresenting himself and embarrassing them.”
–Ken Frydman, managing partner, Source Communications
“Words were contrite, but delivery was stilted and overly rehearsed (scripted pauses and look-ups, working the rope line)
This was the right format for a governor resigning in disgrace, not a pro athlete apologizing for personal transgressions.”
–Matthew Traub, managing director/chief of staff, Dan Klores Communications (DKC) via Twitter
“I would have suggested a less controlled environment, that would have clearly changed the bunker like mode he has been in since the story broke. The more open you appear, the more believable you will be.”
–Chris Giglio, corporate vice president, crisis management expert, HL Group
“nice Buddhist quote #Tiger, way to bring religion into it – good #pr move…”
–aLine Media fashion PR, via Twitter
“David Carradine dies of autoerotic asphyxiation. Now Tiger Woods mentions you. Buddhism sure needs a better PR manager.”
–A piece of dark humor via @RickAfterDark
[screenshot TV mosaic via TVNewser]