Miguel Piedra of RockOrange argues that tennis star Maria Sharapova’s response to a failed performance-enhancing drug test will become a crisis communications blueprint. From his column in PRWeek:
Her tack was one of honesty, directness, and accountability. She did not use spokespeople or press releases or even Oprah to come clean. In doing so, she has saved herself countless hours of brand-damaging news reports.
Her forthrightness is a case study in proper reputation management. It’s a stunningly bold and mature handling of the crisis, especially considering her youth as compared to the old hands who vainly clung to their claims of innocence, and the even older PR axiom that tells us to “deny, deny, deny.” …
Getting out in front of the story — let’s call this “the Sharapova Response” — means owning the narrative. Information flows from the source directly to the media, unfiltered, and even if it is obscured later it is done through the lens of an initially honest act.