On Friday Tiger Woods scheduled a press conference. It will, as you know, be the first time he speaks publicly since the Thanksgiving incident. Getty Images has already released a photo of him jogging. These were the first steps in a coordinated effort for his comeback. According to ABC News the press conference on Friday will be held at a golf club and he will speak to a “small group of friends, colleagues and close associates” and “will discuss his past and his future and he plans to apologize for his behavior.” There will only be one camera present and all other media will be held at a separate location. There will no be no opportunity for questions from reporters.If I were his publicist I would recommend the following.
He should speak no more than the five minutes allotted. He should spend two minutes apologizing to his wife, children, and their families for his behavior. He should say that he would no longer discuss the details of his marriage since it is a private matter. The next minute should be devoted to apologizing to his fans, sponsors, and the golfing community. The last two minutes should be spent discussing his devotion to the sport of golf and his plans for getting back into a full time training schedule with specific mention of upcoming tournaments. Again, no follow up questions with reporters.
For the next two months Tiger should maintain his refusal to answer any questions related to his marriage or sexual proclivities. He will not discuss his marriage, it is a private matter, and is asking for this out of respect for his wife and children.
If he maintains this response people will eventually stop asking him. He should continue talking about golf, golf, and golf.
You have to remember that his target audience is comprised of men. He does not need to apologize over and over to men. Other men do not really care about his sex life. Men want to know how to swing a golf club. Men want to know what kind of watch he wears.
Most of all he should stay focused on winning, because once he starts winning tournaments the Tiger Woods conversation will quickly switch from his womanizing back to his incredible athletic ability.
If he sticks to this winning formula, then we will all bear witness to the single greatest turnaround in crisis PR history.
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