By Danny Cavanaugh
Since the Patriots are yet again in the super bowl, why not bring up a sore subject for many New England fans… deflategate!
That’s right, I said it. The controversial deflating of footballs during the AFC championship between the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts in 2015.
Talk about a PR nightmare! Hours upon hours of court proceedings, with one side winning, then the other side appealing. If I was a part of the PR staff for the patriots, or the NFL I would lose all of my hair.
Talk about crisis PR in a nutshell. With the NFL (among others) investigating your franchise, as a PR professional you have to find a way to bring light to the situation and deflect the negativity away from your organization.
Easier said than done? I think so.
It’s easy for people in this situation to call the patriots “cheaters” because of their track record. If this was the patriots first trip to the super bowl, would people have blown this way out of proportion? That’s the million dollar question.
We all know that when you win, over and over again, people either love you or they hate you. Just look at the New York Yankees, you hardly ever hear “eh they’re alright, I don’t mind them.”
Thus, this is a great example of crisis PR. So, what would you do?
I would find out the truth behind the situation. I would research if the weather played in any part of decreasing the psi within the footballs. Also, you must protect your brand the best you can.
We would have to tell the truth, tell it all, tell it fast, and move on. After all, who wants to be in court two seasons later for something they thought was past them.
This just goes to show how important PR really is. It’s important to keep the integrity of your organization, as well as explain to the public was is going on behind closed doors.