Saturday, November 20, 2010

How Twitter Impacts Tiger Woods' Brand

It’s been a year of Tiger Woods stories. After he officially lost the title of ‘number one ranked golfer in the world’, he has decided to join Twitter in an attempt to save what’s left of his brand. If I were Tiger and my secret life of indiscretions had become a public spectacle, I would go into hiding for awhile in my embarrassment and shame. My primary life talent would take a back seat to the agony of media scrutiny and public opinion. After I stewed in a boiling pot of negative press and perpetual gossip, I would create a plan of action…a plan to restore my tarnished reputation and develop a sense of trust with the media and public. My strategy would include:

1. Use Social Media

I would enlist social media as an avenue to regain trust and credibility in the public eye. I would communicate honestly and genuinely with my “fans” in order to establish a renewed rapport. Tiger is in fact doing this, much to the delight of his loyal fans. Within an hour of his newly opened Twitter account, he had multiple thousands of followers. His Facebook page has well over a million fans. His posts are positive and there’s a good “feel” about them. The feel of a man who has been humbled and who is now re-designing himself into a morally solid individual.

2. Foundation Donations

I would increase awareness about what I’m doing to make the world a better place. Tiger Woods Foundation does just that. Their programs include the Tiger Woods Learning Center, a one-of-a-kind educational facility custom-built for the undeserved youth of Southern California; Tiger’s Action Plan, nationwide curricula based on goal-setting, career exploration and self-discovery through service learning; and the Earl Woods Scholarship program, which offers a four-year college scholarship to hard-working students with demonstrated financial need and proven commitment to community service. Tiger has donated millions of dollars to these endeavors and has stepped up his efforts since his moral demise.

3. Dedicate to Accountability, Counseling, Key Support

When you’re busted, you’re busted. It usually happens because there’s no accountability; you’re duped into thinking no one is watching. That alone is self-deception. I would establish a solid same-sex accountability partner, I would participate in regular counseling, and place key support people around me who are committed to keep me on track. Without these safeguards in place, it’s easy to fall back into negative behavior traps. In his ESPN interview with “Mike and Mike”, Tiger re-stated his unhappiness with himself the previous two years, knowing he was engaging in activity that wasn’t balanced and which lacked perspective for the future.

4. Win

I would just start winning the game again. The public has a funny way of forgetting when someone is back at the top. Even though the media might mention his demise at every turn, Tiger can shut everyone up by just winning. People love come-back stories and I believe Tiger Woods is one of those stories.

5. Show Gratefulness Toward Supportive Fans

I would establish a positive, thankful attitude toward supportive fans. Perhaps one of the reasons most fans have been so supportive of Tiger is that none of us are perfect. We can relate to his self-deception on some level, however small. We’ve all had moral lapses from time to time. Most of us may get away with negative behavior because we’re not Tiger Woods but we still live with a sense of moral right and wrong and make decisions based on that premise. Tiger has continually expressed his gratefulness to fans for their loving support.

If I were Tiger Woods, I would turn my greatest embarrassment into my greatest triumph.  He now knows what he’s capable of if his soul is left to itself. He’s acknowledged his errors, he’s lost many valuable relationships along the way, and he’s paid the enormous price of a tarnished reputation and diminished role-model status.  He’s poised for greatness and He can and will come back with a stronger character, wiser behavior, and better self.

Michelle Hill

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