Friday, December 04, 2009

Media: Tiger Woods getting "worst possible advice"

Media relations expert David Margulies says publicists and pundits making the TV talk show rounds are giving golfer Tiger Woods the worst possible advice as he deals with his current crisis. Margulies, who handled international media relations for Oprah Winfrey during her trial in Amarillo, says Woods is doing a good job in a difficult situation.

"The first step in crisis management is to assess who can have the most negative impact on you as an individual or company," said Margulies. "In Woods' case, keeping his marriage together and personally contacting major sponsors is Job One. A divorce or the loss of a major sponsor are the two most critical issues for Woods right now both financially and emotionally. A protracted divorce could generate negative publicity for years and reveal financial details Woods doesn't want to discuss."

Suggestions that Woods tell all in a television interview or worse yet, a news conference, have been made by many publicists and self-styled media experts who have been interviewed on morning talk shows and print. These "experts" may have their own agendas to curry favor with the media. "A news conference is similar to being cross examined by a horde of attorneys," said Margulies.

Woods has avoided the problem that plagues many organizations that start providing information too quickly and then have to correct it as new facts emerge. A recent example: photos of state dinner party crashers with the President that were released after the White House stated they did not get near the President.

Woods and his advisors recognize that they have no control over the tabloid media or people who will try to capitalize on this issue. Woods, however, could have done a better job of controlling the situation with the police by scheduling a time that he or his attorney would meet with them. Doing so would have eliminated the recurring story that the meeting would take place each day. However, the end result was a success with Woods only receiving a ticket.

"Crisis management," says Margulies, "is more than just dealing with the news media. There are many moving parts and attorneys, media relations experts and others must work together for the best outcome. Not every issue can be resolved by holding a press conference or doing an interview."

The Margulies Communications Group, based in Dallas, Texas, is one of the nation's leading crisis prevention and crisis management firms.

Source: The Margulies Communications Group

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