PR Memo to A-Rod: It’s Not Too Late

 PR Memo to A Rod: Its Not Too Late

THE PR VERDICT: “F” (Full Fiasco) to Major League Baseball player Alex Rodriguez.

To sports fans, a losing season is interminably long. Baseball fans must be feeling that way about the drama involving Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees and the question of whether he took performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). With each passing day, A-Rod digs himself deeper into a PR hole he has increasingly little chance of climbing out of.

The issue exploded last week after an arbitration panel agreed Rodriguez should serve the longest-ever suspension of a Major League Baseball player for his alleged infractions. On Sunday, a 60 Minutes interview featured purported dope dealer Anthony Bosch, who suggested that A-Rod’s inner circle tried to buy his silence and, when Bosch refused, threatened his life.

Some say it’s too late in the game for a mea culpa from Rodriguez. But the sad truth is that other sports figures, most notably Lance Armstrong, have more than cleared the brush on that path. So many others have come before him – including a dozen other players who admitted they bought drugs from Bosch – that Alex Rodriguez would be just another name on a depressingly expanding list.

THE PR VERDICT: “F” (Full Fiasco) to Alex Rodriguez. Admitting he used PEDs  won’t save his career or legacy, but it’s his only option to stop the onslaught of negative press and repair his image.

THE PR TAKEAWAY: Know when to fold. With this scandal breaking in the twilight of his career, Alex Rodriguez’s dreams of holding homerun records and joining the Baseball Hall of Fame are dashed. An admission of guilt may give the public a figure they can eventually forgive. All that’s left of Rodriguez’s image is who he is as a person. Admitting he used and apologizing would at least give us someone who went out appearing accountable and contrite, rather than a deluded egomaniac who denied his complicity until the bitter, bitter end.

 

 

The PRV Report Card: This Week’s Winners & Losers

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersPR WINNER OF THE WEEK: A (PR PERFECT) to Princeton University for its smooth handling of a potentially deadly meningitis outbreak on its New Jersey campus. It emerged this week that seven students have contracted an unusual strain of bacterial meningitis since March. But the frightening fact was paired with the university’s announcement that it was already in discussions with federal authorities to offer a vaccine not yet approved in the US.  The facts were clearly communicated (all students but one out of the hospital, vaccine to be available in December, campus awareness campaign underway), FAQ’s posted online and questions referred to government health officials. The university emanated calm, preparedness and control.

ryanlambourn The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersPR LOSER OF THE WEEK: “F” (Full Fiasco) to Ryan Jake Lambourn, whose video game allows players to reenact last year’s school shooting in Connecticut where 20 children and six teachers died. Lambourn, an American expat thought to be living in Australia, said he created the game to spur pro-gun control action in the US. Australia enacted sweeping gun control after a 1996 mass shooting, but in America, “All these massacres don’t seeem to have had any similar effect on regulation,” Lambourn told the press. That hardly soothed families of Sandy Hook victims, one of whom called the game “absolutely disgusting.” The game does in fact emphasize safeguards that could have prevented the massacre. As a result, Lambourn’s first-person shooter won no props from gun lovers, either.

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersTHE PRV “THERE’S NO ‘THERE’ THERE” AWARD to Alex Rodriguez, the embattled baseball player who is facing a major league suspension for allegedly taking performance enhancing drugs. Rodriguez has been in hearings this week on the charges brought against him by MLB commissioner Bud Selig. When the 79-year-old Selig sent someone else to the trial in his place, Rodriguez flew into a rage, punching a wall, pounding his fists on a table, cursing and finally leaving. He then went on a radio show to deny taking the drugs. Yep, a grandstanding fury is certainly the way to convince people of that.

The PRV Report Card: This Week’s Winners and Losers

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners and LosersPR WINNER OF THE WEEK: “A” (PR PERFECT) TO New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for pulling off another political pirouette. A week after rekindling his late summer hurricane “bromance” with President Obama, the Republican governor put the partisan gloves back on in the wake of Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s death. Christie appointed the state’s Republican Attorney General to caretake Lautenberg’s seat and called an early, off-cycle election to fill the seat permanently. No matter that the special election will cost taxpayers an extra $24 million; Christie successfully sold it as being in the state’s best interests. Of course, it nicely serves the GOP’s and his own interests as well by keeping a popular Democrat and his strong partisan support out of the November general election. A purely political calculation, but Christie made it look like he was just doing the right thing for his constituents.

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners and LosersPR LOSER OF THE WEEK: “F” (FULL FIASCO) TO Major League Baseball’s latest steroid scandal. Twenty baseball heavyweights, including Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees (left), are under investigation for alleged involvement in a Florida “anti-aging clinic” whose elixir of youth was performance enhancing drugs. A-Rod previously admitted to taking PEDs from 2001-3, but has denied taking them since. If found to be lying, he could face a 100-game suspension. No word on the effect that will have on his 10-year, $275 million contract, especially after a bad season.

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners and LosersTHE PRV “THERE’S NO ‘THERE’ THERE” AWARD to The Guardian, the British newspaper that breathlessly reported that the National Security Agency (NSA) issued a “top secret” order for the daily phone records of millions of Verizon customers. The order, the paper said, “shows the scale of surveillance under the Obama administration.” US lawmakers, who can usually find outrage in a cup of coffee, were unmoved. Senior Democrats and Republicans in Congress said they know about it and have no particular problem with it, especially in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing. The White House simply said measures are in place to ensure that the program, which does not permit authorities to listen in on phone calls, complies with various laws. It also appears this clandestine order The Guardian stumbled upon may just be a reauthorization of a program that’s gone on for years. Phonegate it’s not. Ho-hum.