PR Disasters are usually caused by something; bad choices, behaviour, inattentiveness or wanton disregard. This precise article from the UK Telegraph’s Oliver Brown is “ace” in the way it describes the defects that drive Nick K’s manifold PR disasters. “…indeed hundreds of those fans on No 2 Court who watched his petulant implosion with mounting incredulity, felt most put out by was Kyrgios’s spoilt-child syndrome.” Nicely served, Oliver.
Gold Coast Stuns. The AFL and its multi-million dollar babies – the Gold Coast Suns – are embroiled in brand damaging illicit drug use allegations. Was anyone else struck by the irony of KH’s admission that he bought ‘gear’ outside a pizza shop. Not implying it was one of the club sponsors (a pizza chain), but how long before the sun sets on deals with sponsors and partners including HostPlus, Fiat, Virgin and United Petroleum and others?
I think it’s the somewhat disingenious or inauthentic lines we’re hearing from Adam Goodes that makes his media stance something of a personal PR kerfuffle. But he has many supporters.
Adam is patently a high-integrity and high-values bloke, and I think we’ve just seen a little more of his humanity in two ways; A) by showing he is still sensitive to the barbs of booing, barracking buffoons and B) in neglecting to squarely, honestly address the reality of what he did on Friday night versus Carlton.
Like his footy forefather – Paul Gascoigne – did all those years ago in a far flung land, Goodesy appeared to be trying to “noise-up” the opposition fans. Why not, given the abuse?
But in these fields, the insult is usually in the eyes of the beholder; ask those outraged Celtic fans when accosted by the Rangers’ star’s cultural reference back in the late 90s.
I think the authenticity and integrity of Goodes’ personal brand could have been galvanised if he’d just said: “Yes, the booing and baiting was kinda getting to me; I just tried to reverse their racism by showing I’m fiercely proud of my heritage – but maybe I got a bit carried away.”
When passions are high – along with score discrepancies – trading on heritage is a risky strategy. Ask Gazza, Adam (and congrats on a great goal).
No matter the marketing campaigns, the spin, the apologies and the ‘zero tolerance’ approach, some in the NRL’s playing cohort seem determined to let their personal tastes run riot over their employee code of conduct contracts. Begs the question; can the ‘mongrel’ quality – so needed to make a great NRL star – ever be anything less than a sniff away from dogging the wider code with image and reputation issues?
I wonder if golfer Robert Allenby, or NRL players John Sutton and Luke Burgess can somewhat identify with this theory? I have analysed PR disasters from every angle and it has become all too apparent that:
drink and drugs play a significant part in adversely affecting behaviour; catalysing embarrassing or painful incidents; leading to shame-based denials and excuses; delivering high levels or scepticism and thereafter; scandal plus reduced levels of public trust and respect?
The one-time abuser or inveterate addict alike, will deny, lie or vilify anyone else, rather than come clean about how they have little or no control after imbibing poison that compels them to behave irrationally or inappropriately.
If a picture paints a thousand words, Sydney Morning Herald illustrator Rocco Fazzari brilliantly (look at the shield crest!) summed up the Aussie PM’s predicament (hat tip Rocco for loan of the image). Even over in the UK, scribes are penning the PMs political obituary – but might the out-of-time Tony yet successfully crusade to keep his top job?
First up, I have empathy for those with depression or self-medication issues. But in terms of PR, media reports and reputation management, there’s often not much room for such understanding. That’s why Paul Gallen’s tweet – offensively deriding his defacto NRL employers/governors as female genitalia – is defined as a PR gaffe, any pre-existing issues or circumstances aside.
For a privileged sports role model (with some bad PR ‘form’ re performance supplement use in particular) to fail to accept accountability for the consequences of his wrongs (harder – yet more telling – than just issuing an easy, media mea culpa) puts the gall in ‘Gallen’. Paul may now claim his use of the C-word (below) is innocuous. (Ladies, mums, sisters, daughters; your views on that one?)
This PR disaster is only compounded when the NRL stipulates that this great athlete – yet PR putz – needs to complete a leadership course as part of his rehabilitation. A followership, humility and emotional awareness course might better address some of the issues fuelling Paul’s PR disaster, and fuelling the original drivers that led to it.
Still with empathy and chapeau to SydMornHerald for quip-grabs, G.