When It Comes to PR, Mike Tyson’s No Pigeon

Mike Tyson Kissing Pigeon2 150x150 When It Comes to PR, Mike Tysons No Pigeon

The PR Verdict: “A” (PR Perfect) for Mike Tyson and a comeback that gives the public a new way to think about him.

Boxer Mike Tyson recently told the Financial Times (FT) that by the age of thirteen, he had been arrested no less than 38 times. His life was one chaotic downward spiral. A rape charge led to him serving three years in prison; he ran through a $400 million fortune; there were endless drugs, arrests, more arrests, and then, the coupe de grace: biting off Evander Holyfield’s earlobe. How to stage a PR comeback from all of THAT?

Tyson pinpoints the exact moment he became the “baddest man on the planet.” At fifteen years of age, bullied relentlessly (hard to imagine), and a lover of pigeons (even harder), Mike Tyson had one of his prized pigeons killed by a taunting bully. Tyson fought back, and from that moment, his descent into one helluva scary guy was guaranteed.

Tyson’s second epiphany, this one leading in a different direction, occurred much later. Tired of sleeping with a never-ending procession of prostitutes and having multiple STDs, he turned to veganism as a route to good health.

The former ear-biting prizefighter now speaks publicly about his non-meat eating lifestyle, and his love of pigeons. “My pigeons, they were there for me,” he says. “They’ve never let me down. Easier than people.” The world got its first incredulous glimpse of the kinder, gentler Tyson in his reality show Taking On Tyson, and again in his sold-out one-man Broadway show, The Undisputed Truth, directed by Spike Lee. The Mike Tyson of yesterday has turned the page and is writing a whole new chapter.

The PR Verdict: “A” (PR Perfect) for Mike Tyson and a comeback that gives the public a new way to think about him.

The PR Takeaway:  Turning the page is best explained by a personal epiphany. In PR terms, it explains clearly the what and why of a seminal moment. Fighting a bully made him realize his own power. One too many prostitutes made him realize that salvation lay in veganism. The constant throughout it all? His love of pigeons. Apparently, Tyson was the misunderstood gentle giant. Now even the Financial Times wants to write about him. Who would have thought? Now watch the endorsement contracts come through.

To read more about Tyson, his turnaround, and his pigeons, click here.

Is Mike Tyson a canny PR manipulator, or is the public feasting on his foibles? Give us your PR verdict!

What Does Christie Brinkley Recommend For Extreme Narcissists?

christiebrinkley What Does Christie Brinkley Recommend For Extreme Narcissists?

The PR Verdict: “F” for Christie and an interview that went horribly wrong.

Christie Brinkley, ageless super model and former wife of Billy Joel, declared on the TODAY program that all she wants is peace.  In the middle of a divorce from business man Peter Cook, Brinkley took the morning interview way off course and spoke for eight captivating minutes about marital discord and her ex husband’s allleged strategy of sapping joy from her life.  It was a PR nightmare but absorbing television.

Scheduled to talk of her upcoming role in the Broadway musical Chicago, she sidetracked herself into discussing her divorce from a “malignant narcissist” and its emotional toll.  She nearly broke down in tears and called for government legislation to intervene in divorce cases of “extreme narcissists.”

This was a spectacular interview.  Rarely has anyone been off message so brilliantly and so thoroughly.

The PR Verdict: “F” for Christie and an interview that went horribly wrong.  Even the host, Matt Lauer,  had the grace to apologize for not talking about her Broadway debut.

This was a perfectly structured interview but way off subject.  It had an emotional call-to-action for the viewer (just google divorcing a narcissist!) and a broader demand (legislation to protect against malignant narcissists!).  The tearful crescendo at the end and the plaintive cry of  “all I want is peace” could not have been scripted better.   What her Broadway backers and costars think however is a different matter.

To read more and see the interview click here.

Whats your PR Verdict on this interview?

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