Phil Taylor’s articles in Sports Illustrated are always great, but this one should strike a chord for those in public relations. It holds some valuable lessons for communicators (as well as anyone who doesn’t want to come across as out of touch with their audience).
If you’re not going to read it, the point is this: Know your audience, and remember that the people who support your brand/company/team expect you to be just as passionate about that brand/company/team as they are.
Deuce Lutui may be a funny guy, but at last check the Cardinals’ right guard has never hosted an HBO comedy special or opened for Chris Rock at Caesars Palace. It’s hard to understand then how Lutui’s comic stylings could have been so hilarious that he cracked up quarterback Derek Anderson on the sideline duringMonday Night Football, even as the 49ers were drubbing Arizona in Glendale 27—6. The Cards were comical, but not in a ha-ha kind of way.
Anderson made himself look even worse after the Nov. 29 blowout by launching into a profane tirade when a reporter asked about the sideline chucklefest. He seemed genuinely offended that his lightheartedness could possibly indicate that he was regarding an embarrassing loss with less than appropriate gravity. “I take this [expletive] serious!” Anderson said during a postgame rant that quickly went viral. “Real serious. I put my heart and soul into this [expletive] every single week!”
To which many fans no doubt angrily responded, “Then [expletive] act like it!” They wouldn’t have been shouting only at Anderson but at every athlete who seems less emotionally invested than the people who pay to watch him. They would have been yelling, for instance, at center Anderson Varejão and some of his fellow Cavaliers for hugging former teammate LeBron James, then treating him as though he had returned to Cleveland last Thursday to accept the key to the city instead of to face its wrath.
Read the full article: Make War, Not Love