If you have not yet read Tiger Woods’ My Turn essay “How I’ve Redefined Victory” in this week’s Newsweek, give it a quick read. I’ll wait.
Do you feel a little sick?
My first reaction was “too little, too late.” That reaction was the same as what many people had with Tiger’s press conference apology in August, nine months after his highly publicized car accident.
Tiger Woods had a short window of opportunity at the very beginning of his infidelity coming to light, to step up, apologize and work diligently on recovery. He waited though; hid, actually, as more and more damaging information came out.
Throughout that time I had sympathy for his public relations team because I was sure they were advising him to come forward and there’s nothing more frustrating than having a client who refuses to take good counsel.
The second issue I have with Tiger’s essay is the thick layer of spin. There’s hardly a word in the essay that strikes me as written by anyone other than a PR person (and that’s coming from me, a PR person). It’s the kind of effort that would have been better offered a year ago, but with more authenticity than the carefully crafted B.S. about making mac and cheese for his kids or his nights spent alone channel-surfing.
It’s clear that Tiger’s people are selling him as an everyman; we’re supposed to identify with him and have empathy.
Are you buying it?
There are numerous examples of philanderers who have recovered their reputations after getting caught in compromising positions (I asked for suggestions on Twitter once and had several replies).
It’s possible that Tiger will recover his reputation, but his team has a long road ahead.