We all make choices–good and bad. Often there are consequences for those choices. Fortunately, for most of us, those consequences aren’t played out in the tabloids (print, web or TV variety) as they are for Tiger Woods right now.
Choices Tiger made throughout his life yielded tremendous success in golf. Apparently, although the full truth is not known and is probably none of our business, his personal relationship choices may have placed him in a difficult position.
His accident this past weekend and the resulting scrutiny — fair or not — may have knocked some of the lustre off his sterling reputation and possibly nicked his bankability as an endorser. The brand of Tiger has been hurt. Tiger’s response to all of this is critical. So far, seeking privacy and defending his wife against rumors have probably been wise choices.
Companies and individuals make bad decisions all the time and have to pay the consequences. How one responds to the negative consequence, however, is just as important.
Too often corporate decision makers don’t pause to consider all potential consequences before pushing the button, whatever that button might be. Too often they don’t bring in the right people to talk about possible consequences for any business action. Considering all of your stakeholders is important when making a business call, and too often a single decision maker within a large organization doesn’t know enough about all of the stakeholders. A quick review by a PR counselor can ensure that all of the important questions have been answered before proceeding.
Bad decisions happen and they can lead to problems for an organization. But what happens next is really important. Do you double down on your bad decision? The worst consequence might not be a drop in next month’s sales when you consider a damaged reputation can affect sales for years.
Bad decisions can lead to bankruptcies and even government bailouts, damaging reputation. A decision to then grant executive bonuses probably isn’t involving good PR counsel.
Major business decisions should involve some PR counsel, just as they require legal review. That holds especially when the decision is a response to a problem resulting from an earlier bad decision. Not someone who can help “spin” the story positive. Rather, someone who will tell the decision makers what they really need to hear to make the right choices for their organization — choices that will serve the organization well for years to come.