Feb 19, 2010

Tiger Talks

Rattling the cage during his first public statement since the scandal broke, Tiger Woods poured his heart out on national television for 13.5 minutes.

In front of an audience of media, friends and his mother, Kutilda Woods, Tiger read a prepared statement and admitted his mistakes to the public. While not directly mentioning the affairs or the whores, Tiger said he was sorry for the pain he caused his wife, his children, his mother, his friends, his colleagues and his business sponsors.

Today's press conference marks the beginning of the long rehabilitation of his public image. Cynics thought he would use the conference as a stepping stone for his professional career. Surprisingly, he left golf and his return to the sport out of the equation. Fellow golfers have expressed their anger at his timing, stating that it takes a lot away from today's golf tournament, WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

From a public relations standpoint, Tiger finally did everything by the book. A lot of the flack Tiger received following the car crash and the revelations about his affairs was due to his lack of transparency. Rather than making a statement, Tiger ran, leaving the media and the public to formulate stories about what might have happened. For the first time since the scandal broke, Tiger has finally listened to his PR team and is now on the road to image recovery. His team coached him beautifully. The result had Tiger looking vulnerable as he publicly took responsibility for his choices and gave us reason to sympathize.

A downfall of the press conference was the lack of a question and answer period. By reading a prepared statement and refusing to speak out on his own, Tiger seemed robotic. His words and movements were planned and left little room for actual human behavior. I understand that his PR team wanted to plan his every move, but this sort of press conference should have been done in November. It is time for Tiger to step up his game.

What do you think about Tiger's apology?

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