“C’MON MAN!” is a very popular segment on ESPN football coverage describing some lame efforts by players or coaches. And I’d say, “C’MON MAN” to all coaches and athletic directors for not getting their public relations skills together. Athletic coaches and ADs can be some of the all-time worst PR people.
Next case for review: Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez, who didn’t get his talking points together or work up a home message before talking about the Jarrod Uthoff situation. (Uthoff was a Wisconsin basketball player who wanted to transfer. Google Uthoff’s name and you’ll get the story.)
“The thing got out of hand so fast and it was in the media so fast and in the social media so fast the process never really had a chance to get under way,” said Alvarez at a Big Ten meeting. “Everybody was able to draw opinions and make statements without having all the facts.” Whining.
Mr. Alvarez, you are not aware of ESPN talk shows, social media, how fast the press and public sentiments move? That’s like a coach saying they didn’t know the other team had fast linebackers or the ability to blitz.
Maybe the next time you have a “process in place,” you’ll also have a PR process in place to handle messaging. “It got way out of hand, the process. It was in the media, the social media, before you could even react to it,” says Alvarez. That is weak planning, weak PR, and weak leadership.
Winging it is not acceptable for players on a field. And it should not be acceptable for coaches and athletic directors when it comes to messaging. Practice PR like you practice putting before a golf event, and you won’t be so surprised by the speed of the opponent. C’mon man.