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P.R. advice for athletes? They tryin' to put me out of a job?

May 26, 2010, 5:15 PM EDT

I stumbled across a blog written by a sports communications and PR firm.  It’s rather interesting stuff and if I were representing athletes — or, if I was an athlete and wanted to protect my endorsements and stuff — I’d probably take what they had to say very, very seriously.

But I gotta tell ya, if athletes really followed the advice given in posts like this one providing tips on how they should deal with the media, people like me would see something like a 75-80% reduction in bloggable material.

So, psst!, athletes! Don’t let anyone tell you what to say or how to say it! Be your own man! And remember: it’s all about pride and respect. Everyone’s out to get you! Act accordingly!

  1. Charles Gates - May 26, 2010 at 8:02 PM

    #4: Realize that hiding from the media is not an option.
    Except at things like Pearl Jam concerts. Oh wait…

  2. Katrina - May 26, 2010 at 10:11 PM

    Thanks for the shout out to our blog, Craig. Don’t worry, I’m sure some athletes will keep giving you good fodder no matter what!

  3. Moses Green - May 27, 2010 at 5:43 AM

    I’m going to try and make a serious case against this robot academy mentality and for more candor.
    They appear to offer advice geared towards maximizing marketability, i.e. telling douchebags how to clamp their lips shut and manage information like Bill Belichick. It’s a strategy that enables people like Tiger Woods and Ben Roethlisberger to cash in while they’re hot. They build images that don’t remotely resemble the individual. This can’t last and always results in blowback when it falls apart. And in the modern information cycle a demonstrably false image will ALWAYS unravel. The worse the individual, the worse the blowback.
    Another problem with the robot approach is that it doesn’t work half as well for non-douchebags. Truly effective marketing and networking has to be organic to leave a positive lasting impression. Or as the late great O.D.B. said – you GOTS to keep it real.
    For “good-guys” like Charles Barkley, being true to himself while still being honest and quotable made him the post-basketball success that he is. MJ and his advisors pioneered the path these handlers now champion – he’s a world class D.B. and his post-basketball career has been one nearly Isiah-level disaster after another.
    For interesting people with thoughtful and/or challenging things to say, following the robot academy’s advice can actually diminish your marketability.

  4. Joey B - May 27, 2010 at 9:10 AM

    Kasper Gutman: You’re a close-mouthed man?
    Sam Spade: Nah, I like to talk.
    Kasper Gutman: Better and better. I distrust a close-mouthed man. He generally picks the wrong time to talk and says the wrong things. Talking’s something you can’t do judiciously, unless you keep in practice.
    It’s my view as well. I encourage my kids to speak out. There is no other way to learn than to try. I teach them that you can both respect your coach/teacher, and disagree with them. One of the reasons why I always liked Papi so much is because, when Damon returned, his only response to the media was a big smile and ‘Johnny’s my boy’. What else was there to say?
    But, just like in real life, players offer a lot of opinions that are ill-researched.

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