Friday at 11am is shaping up to be one of those seminal moments for this country. An event in which everyone who can will be watching and waiting to see what happens. Some out of concern, some out of curiosity and some to mock and laugh.
I’m talking about Tiger Woods’ public statement tomorrow. If you don’t see it, you can’t blame the media. It’s on all the networks, the cable news channels, the sports channels and even YouTube will be carrying it live.
You can do more than watch it, you can actually make money from it. A British bookie is laying odds on the event. It’s 4-to-7 that wife Elin will stand by Tiger’s side ( you will lose no matter what ) and it’s 100-to-1 Tiger announces he retires.
However, the greatest bet will be what Tiger will say about what he has done and what he plans to do next. There has been speculation from so many different directions, it’s tough to know who really does know what could happen. That’s what makes a phone interview I had tonight so revealing.
PR Guru Mark DeMoss: An expert in damage control, his advice to Tiger is both simple … and drastic.
Mark DeMoss is a public relations expert from Atlanta and his specialty is crisis management and damage control. He has handled many high-profile clients in positions while not as well-known were just as painful. He recently wrote “A Speech That Could Save Tiger’s Reputation, His Family and His Golf Game”.
I asked Mark why he wrote it. He just wanted to freely offer his advice on how to handle a crisis. He doesn’t expect Woods’ people to call him for advice, but he says the one-page statement offers some things Tiger’s people may not have considered.
He believes we are a society that accepts apologies and offers forgiveness when those who have transgressed. DeMoss says Woods can restore his reputation but he must be sincere and contrite. He also believes Woods should apologize because while his actions most directly involve his wife, everything he does affects thousands. Case in point, he is making his statement during the Accenture Match Play Championships. It’s certain to take away from the action and have other golfer steaming as Tiger takes the spotlight.
DeMoss’ statement has all the required apologies and mea culpas, but what made it stand out where four very drastic steps at the end. He suggests Tiger make four moves designed to prove his sincerity at turning the corner.
1. Not play any golf in 2010
2. Not continue his golf career until he determines whether or not his marriage can be salvaged with Elin.
3. Ask three men: Jack Nicklaus, Tony Dungy and a pastor of their choice to mentor him and hold him accountable for two years.
4. Ask hs sponsors to release him from all contractual agreements.
DeMoss believes that by taking these radical steps, Woods will be looked at in a much more positive light and be able to walk away from tomorrow’s event with the majority of Americans in his corner.
We shall see.