This week's "What were they thinking?" Communication Awards
It's been a busy couple of weeks in the crazy world of non-information or warped information. So often it prompts us communications professionals to scratch our heads and wonder aloud why some of these people don't get better PR counsel -- or any PR counsel -- before they spout off.
The big winner is Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano for his bizarre, "I'm retiring. No, I'm not" incident. Any time a pitcher is ejected for what appears to everyone to be deliberately throwing at the batter, it's a story. When you compound that by not just heading to the showers, but leaving the locker room entirely, it raises eyebrows and is very much against the baseball team code. But then when you start talking with reporters about retiring and texting goodbye messages to colleagues and cleaning out your locker, you're just asking for controversy, Carlos. And a "never mind" and "the press did this, not me" campaign to reverse that perception is too little, too late. As one of my friends in sales says, "Carlos, you are 'done and done.'"
Staying in sports for the next entry, but this time in the usual gentlemanly world of golf, is the Steve Williams' "I am the champion now and you're not" award for trashing Tiger Woods, whom he famously caddied for and was paid handsomely for, in the wake of his win with his new golfer, Adam Scott. I think this is what's referred to as "winning ugly." Neither Williams nor Woods is coming out of this one looking very good.
And in the "Did we learn nothing from the News Corp. backlash" category, is the ugly speculation leaking out that taped interviews with former first lady Jackie Kennedy months after JFK's death contain salacious claims about LBJ being part of a conspiracy to have her husband killed. I heard this one while in the great state of Texas and all I could do was shake my head in wonderment that the conspiracy theorists are at it again. ABC News and Hyperion Books stand to benefit from the publicity building up to the Diane Sawyer 20/20 special that will introduce the tapes in conjuction with the publication of the book about the tapes. ABC is saying there is no truth to the rumors. Hyperion is just flogging the new book as the best account of JFK yet to be published. One just wonders where the rumors actually started. Hey, I saw "Wag the Dog."
Have I missed any good award entries during my Texas travels this week?