With the developments in contemporary media and social media outlets, the image of a product, person, or organization has become paramount to success within a wide range of different industries. This is why when an unexpected crisis occurs that may impact one of the afore mentioned entities, it is important to have a public relations team in place who can handle the crisis and maintain the entity’s reputation. Developing the right strategy to protect a product, person, or businesses’ image can be the difference from maintaining a healthy relationship with the public, or having that relationship turn south.
An example of the importance of having a public relations team in place who can take the lead in a crisis situation, can been viewed by the strategies used in the recent scandal involving New York Yankees’ star Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez, who has just been reinstated into Major League Baseball after serving a year long suspension for having used performance enhancing drugs, has finally addressed his situation after having remained quiet for the last year. Rodriguez released a hand written letter apologizing to the fans, the Yankees, and Major League Baseball.
Rodriguez’s crisis management strategies are examples of how public relations can shape the story. In the case of Rodriguez, the public’s reception to his letter has been unfavorable. The fact that he has not gotten in front of a camera and opened himself up publicly, has left a feeling of Rodriguez’s apology being insincere. Also, the fact that Rodriguez waited a year to apologize, also lends itself to the idea that he is only apologizing so that he can get back onto the field to play ball. A better strategy for Rodriguez would have been to get out ahead of the scandal and address the issues as soon as possible, instead of waiting a full year to make amends. Also, having himself open himself up to scrutiny in the form of a live press conference would have also have helped communicate his desire to make amends for his mistakes. Ultimately, the scandal involving Alex Rodriguez and performance enhancing drugs is proof that it is essential to have a public relations team present and ready to execute a plan in order to handle a crisis in the most favorable way possible.