BY TJ Walker
One of the happiest media experiences I ever had was reading a story in the prestigious financial online publication TheStreet.com on February 22, 2010. Here is part of the story:
“NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Tiger Woods’ public appearance Friday appeared to have done him more good than harm, paving the road for his successful return to professional golf. In fact, Woods’ public expression of remorse to fans, family and business partners garnered a B+ from one crisis communications coach.
“He did many, many things well,” T.J. Walker, head of Media Training Worldwide says. “He seemed contrite. He seemed sincere. He hit the right emotional note.” Furthermore, Tiger “defanged his attackers because he answered every one of their charges…he said he’s completely guilty.”
Indeed, one of the first things Tiger declared when he took to the podium was “I know people want to find out how I could be so selfish and so foolish. People want to know how I could have done these things to my wife, Elin, and to my children. And while I have always tried to be a private person, there are some things I want to say.”
“Now when that happens it makes it much harder for people to continue pounding,” Walker points out. “You’re not going to have confrontation if one side is agreeing.”
However, Walker does fault Tiger on his presentation skills, saying that Tiger should have had more eye contact, instead of looking down so frequently. He also feels that Tiger should have gotten rid of the script and lectern.”
In terms of press strategy, Walker gives Tiger a C, explaining that he should have made this move much, much earlier — three months earlier, that is — and adds that Tiger missed an important opportunity to deflate media intensity over the details of his affairs by not opening the floor for press questions.
However, as much as I liked the story, I was quickly filled with dread. I didn’t ever remember talking to the reporter from TheStreet.com. Was I losing my mind? Was my memory failing me?
I deduced that TheStreet.com must have pulled the quotes from a wire service interview I had done for Bloomberg and simply not noted that in the byline. So I double checked the story in Bloomberg—those quotes of mine were completely different; obviously not the source.
So I went back and re-read the quotes fromthestreet.com—they were eerily familiar.
Wait a minute! I went back and played the video I shot of myself and had posted onto YouTube just moments after the Tiger Woods press conference. Bingo! The reporter had taken multiple direct quotes straight from my YouTube video and had not bothered to call me up or mention the source.
This, in my opinion, is FANTASTIC!
Of course you can’t expect reporters to do this every day, but when you provide a unique perspective with well-packed wording on a subject that is red-hot, you can save time for yourself, the reporter and everyone else in the media food chain with your timely perspective put out instantly in the form of Internet video. In this instance, the social media becomes the mainstream media.