i’m hiding behind my finger!

November 29, 2009

in communication

as the kid playing “it” ran straight for us during summertime-fueled games of tag, we’d freeze in place, hold our index finger vertically on top of our nose, squeeze our eyes firmly shut, and shriek “you can’t see me; i’m hiding behind my finger!”

with our eyes closed and the world blackened, we fervently believed we were invisible and safe.

tiger woods tried to hide behind his finger this weekend and discovered the truth: even when you’re shutting out the world and hoping to keep all in the dark, the world sees you.

rumors love a vacuum. get out in front of that finger.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Crystal Peterson November 29, 2009 at 9:57 pm

Part of me hates the fact that for these celebrities, there’s no privacy whatsoever. It has to be an awful feeling to know that you basically can’t step out of your house most days without someone watching your every move. But the other side of me says, “suck it up’. This is your life, now deal with it. Step out there and ‘control’ the story. Trying to hide behind the finger just makes it worse and everyone is coming up with their own version of what went down. It’s difficult but manageable.

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fran November 29, 2009 at 10:15 pm

crystal, i see it as part of the bargain he or anyone like him makes. in his particular situation, the story will grind away until he comes out, and i’m betting what the public’s coming up with is a lot more interesting than the truth! i was also thinking about this from the corporate context. if you make a mistake with your customers, your employees, your peers — get out and own it.

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Steve Boese November 30, 2009 at 5:01 pm

Is Tiger so big and so powerful that the ‘normal’ rules of crisis management do not apply? Or is that not even possible anymore?

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fran November 30, 2009 at 8:40 pm

steve, i think most PR professionals would say that he and his agency are f-ing up, big time. at the same time, i don’t believe, as some do, that his brand will be ruined by this. we all know we have a very short-term memory — and he’s done nothing so horrifying (that we know of) as to turn the public away from him long-term. my point’s more that the absence of a message allows for greater, more distorted, and more harmful messages to take root.

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Rob December 3, 2009 at 10:28 am

Succinct and relevant post there. I think Woods will bounce back. But i find it very curious the way Accenture have tried to align themselves to Wood’s myth.

You inspired me to blog about it also http://bit.ly/5HtoaR

I agree with the other comments – Woods doesn’t realise this is as much a PR mess as it about the revelations of his private life.

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fran December 3, 2009 at 12:32 pm

rob, the best point i’ve read so far (and i wish i could remember where i saw it) is that perhaps he’s making what we deem to be poor PR choices, but in fact he’s fully aware of and quite fine with the consequences. what have you…we can’t know what’s in his mind. need to hop on over now to see what you wrote!

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Pharmacy Technician December 4, 2009 at 2:02 pm

great post as usual .. thanks .. you just gave me a few more ideas to play with

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fran December 5, 2009 at 1:37 pm

thanks for reading! be sure to share back,

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