Some of our more loyal readers may remember the crisis communications plan we devised for Tiger Woods after his sexual dalliances became public and tarnished his marriage and reputation.
Step One: Admit to compulsive sex addiction
Step Two: Go to rehab
Step Three: Come back and cry on Oprah, (hand holding with the wife as you do it counts for extra points)
Well, it appears Lance Armstrong is following this three step program but the problem with him is, its too little too late.
And this is the basic rule of crisis communications. If you are at fault don't let a minute go by without at least admitting contrition and regret over something. It doesn't have to be a full hand-wringing confession, but if your client or your ego is deluding you into believing you can hoodwink the public into thinking you are innocent and you're not- REMEMBER LANCE ARMSTRONG. May Lance be a beacon to all as to the folly of listening to your pride and not your mind.
Lance, Roger Clemens, Tiger Woods, Anthony Weiner, the list is endless of people who tried to do the exact same thing and failed miserably. Had any one of these guys stood up in the first 24 hours as Andy Petite did after the Mitchell report came out alleging steroid abuse and said, "You know what, I am not proud of this but I did it before a championship game, I was hurt but I didn't want to let my team down. I regret the decision." It would have totally blown over, just as it did for Petite.
Here is our new three step program for getting "right with the Lord" and the public:
Step One: Admit to something (not a full confession)
Step Two: Do something proactive to show contrition and regret, enter rehab, make a monetary donation to an important cause, be seen volunteering time to a relevant charity. In short "Walk your walk".
Step Three: Be open and honest in an exclusive to one reporter important to your audience about your regrets but more importantly what you are actively doing to make up for it.