Like Tiger himself, I am somewhat conflicted about how to respond to the episode of the mysterious car crash. The general consensus from PR pros is that Tiger could have avoided a drawn out media frenzy by quickly and truthfully addressing all the speculation, rumors and innuendo. In his words, the advice from the PR community was to come forward with a "public confession."

There is no doubt that using vague wording like "sins and transgressions" just fuels the speculation. The media and the public love to see revered figures brought low and when they smell blood they really get nasty. Knowing that an icon is "not perfect"
or "only human" just means they are weak enough to take them down. So in that regard, it might have been better for Tiger to accept the advice of his PR counsel and come clean. Explain what happened, answer any questions, beg forgiveness and move on with his life. Smart steps for any brand concerned about its reputation.

But the truth is that Tiger is more than a brand. He actually is human. So is his wife. And they have the right to work out their issues privately, without the assistance of the public, the media, the PR community or the floozy from Vegas. His brand has been damaged but not nearly as badly as his marriage. His sponsorships might suffer but not nearly as badly as his family. Corporate Tiger has taken a minor hit, but Personal Tiger's life is a mess.

So while I am certain that this episode will become a classic case study in crisis communications, my advice to the media, bloggers and PR pros is to back off. Let him be. Let his wife be. Let them work it out. Stop being so consumed with the personal problems of celebrities and celebrity wannabees and pay attention to the serious problems facing our planet, our country, our communities, our business and our own families. Let's stop chasing Tiger's tale. There's plenty to do right here at home.

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