Tom Garrity

Archive for November, 2009|Monthly archive page


In Reputation on November 30, 2009 at 1:51 pm

One of the many great spectacles in college football is a packed LSU Tiger Stadium with the crowd chanting “TIGERBAIT” as the opposing team enters.

In another arena, sports icon Tiger Woods is making a spectacle over his lack of response to an early morning car accident into his neighbor’s tree.

While he did issue a brief statement on his website, which raised more questions than it answered, he has yet to speak to law enforcement about the accident.

It raises the question: How much information is enough to satisfy the letter of the law while placating the arena of public perception?

From the legal perspective, Tiger’s attorney provided “license, registration and proof of insurance” to officers; the bare minimum.

In the arena of public perception, it isn’t as cut and dry.

Tiger has been successful because of his athletic abilities.  Leveraging his consistency and discipline, marketers have helped elevate Tiger Woods into a sports icon who has earned the public’s trust through product endorsements.

 In all of those endorsements you’d be hard pressed to find images or references to his wife and family.  That’s because he is fiercely private about his personal life.

If he had wrapped a golf cart around a tree at a golf course, I have a feeling we would have seen Tiger owning up to the circumstances and the public curiosity would have moved on.  However, since this occurred off the course, it is, in Tiger’s mind, out of bounds.

And here lies the issue.  The public is clamoring for information about Tiger’s private life.  In this era of reality television and a 24/7 news cycle, there are some who think he owes the larger public a more detailed response than what appeared on his web page.

Tiger was wrong waiting 48 hours to make a statement; it should have been issued within 24 hours of the accident.  While it did provide personal responsibility, it raised more questions than it answered.

Despite the hovering helicopters, stalking media, and crowd that is yelling “TIGERBAIT”, this Tiger is consistent about not commenting about his personal life.  That discipline will be his key to moving past this incident.

Image of Tiger Woods provided by the Baltimore Sun

What is the importance of “PR”?

In Uncategorized on November 3, 2009 at 2:52 am

icon_GarrityGroup_150x150Recently a fellow PR colleague asked me the following question: “What is the importance of public relations/marketing/advertising in relation to an organization’s mission and bottom line?”  After thinking about his question, I decided to focus my response on the lowest common denominators… what it is and what it isn’t.  Here’s my response:

Marketing communications is a tricky thing.

It is celebrated, proven, and talked about by growing companies.

Failing organizations misuse, ignore and downplay it.

The people who think they are too good for it are the ones who need it the most.

Pop culture successes sometimes don’t recognize how badly they need it.

Companies that are successful by selling a mediocre product abuse it.

CEOs that know how to leverage it are successful.

Shareholders of companies that implement it effectively are wealthier.

Smart moms are very effective at it.  Husbands could learn a lot about it from their wives.

You can say a lot about it without saying much at all.

Successful corporate brands don’t implement it because they “get” it.

Just because you have it doesn’t mean you “get” it.

It is a part of a healthy corporate culture, truthful and transparent.

It is about making a connection but many people have a hard time connecting with that truth.

It is abused, neglected, misrepresented, mothballed, cut, downsized, reduced and eliminated.

It needs to be integrated, bold, consistent, creative, simple and memorable.

It needs to be real.

Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, Apple, Tiger, McDonalds and Wal-Mart leverage it.

Kleenex, Coke, Xerox, Band Aid, Velcro and Scotch Tape defined it.

Politicians manipulate it for good, evil and their personal agenda.

On a bad day it will help define who you are.

On a good day it is the best thing ever.