What's common to IIMs & Tiger Woods?

Lousy PR.

It didn't matter that one's a set of top ranking B-Schools in India and the other's the top ranked golfer in the world. Both reacted to crisis in a downright amateurish manner.

The 'crashed' servers at CAT exam are being attributed to virus attacks. A claim that's being pooh-poohed by industry experts. In fact, cyber experts say pinning the blame on a virus attack may have worsened things for applicants. Cyber experts opined that the official explanation of a virus would open the doors for students to question the exams and approach courts to have it cancelled. In addition, the Press Conference addressed by the IIM-A director too was nothing to write about. Lame answers delivered in a fashion I call, amateurishly defiant.

Tiger Woods too reacted no better. He's clammed up fuelling even greater speculation. The Drudge Report had his crash as headlines for two days running. Allegations of an affair surface. And now it seems two women have lined up, and are set to go public with claims that they had affairs with him. Tabloids on both sides of the Atlantic desperately seek New York nightclub hostess, Rachel Uchitel, as she's supposed to be the 'woman in question'. The whole drama swirls amidst Tiger Woods' silence. More so I'd say, due to his 'silence'.

Publicised crisis requires that brands handle them deftly. Deftly means, one, react as quickly as possible. Delays paint the party in question as guilty or as trying to cover up. Two, Respond. Its a must to, unless its felt 'silence' is better; that staying mum will ensure the story 'dies'. And when responses are given, its imperative that they are well thought out, and choreographed to perfection. Send in the most convincing, credible people with strong communication skills. Not amateurs with degrees.

Note what Larry Kudlow writes in his 'open' letter to Woods; 'But in your case, if there is no alcohol, drugs, or infidelity, and if there is a better-sounding, truthful explanation of your events, you’ve gotta get out there and say it. As you know, your clean, serious, sober, near-perfect, golden-boy bloom is already off the rose. And if you insist on stonewalling, from now on it’s damage limitation. And that will be no fun at all. Your bottom will be lower than anything you ever imagined.

Fans love the way you play, and so do I. Sunday afternoons are a treat watching you. But you’re in a heap of trouble right now. Stonewalling, whether in business or politics, seldom pays.

C’mon Tiger. Be a mench. Fess up and clear the air. If you do it soon, you will be forgiven, and this too will pass.

Now, that's great advice, but I can't help but add mine. To the IIMs; get yourselves a PR agency. Pronto. To Tiger, if your PR agent advised you to stay mum, fire the guy/agency and get a more sensible one. Pronto again.


Popular Posts