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Mixed reactions to Tiger Woods interviews
March 24, 2010

Two TV interviews given by Tiger Woods about the sex scandal that has engulfed him received mixed reviews from experts.

Woods’s performances moved one professor of popular culture to say he had heard enough talk from the golfer about his transgressions, while a crisis and reputation management professional said Woods had not gone into enough detail.

The world number one gave a pair of five-minute interviews to ESPN and the Golf Channel after announcing last week he would end a five-month absence from competitive golf by playing in next month’s U.S. Masters tournament at Augusta.

Woods was “dull” and apologies for his serial infidelities sounded “robotic,” Syracuse University professor Bob Thompson told Reuters on Monday.

“If I would have been his manager I think I would have said, ‘Do a lot of no comment, it’s none of your business. Go with the mysterious Tiger, who doesn’t do a lot of talking’ and leave it at that.

“Now he’s become part of that whole, highly managed mea culpa complex that we’ve all grown cynical about.”

Mike Paul, who specialises in reputation management as president of MGP & Associates PR, had an opposite take.

“I think he took a couple of baby steps forward but there were lots of missed opportunities,” said Paul.

Paul said Woods needed to be more open about the Nov. 27 car accident in the middle of the night outside his Florida home that triggered a media frenzy surrounding his marriage, and about what sort of treatment he has been receiving.

“So many questions still remain,” said Paul, who added that the truth was bound to come out.

“If he is a liar and he covers up that, then what other things does he cover up? How can he regain the public trust?”

Rick Cerrone, a former long time public relations manager for the New York Yankees who now runs his own PR and image consulting business, gave Woods credit for the interviews.

“I believe he said many of the right things. He categorised his behaviour as disgusting and that he needed to be a better person,” Cerrone said.

“I think at Augusta he will hear a lot of applause. These are real golf fans. I believe he will be very warmly received at Augusta.”

Paul said that Woods’s wife Elin would become a bigger part of the story and predicted interest would run high in whether she attends the Masters to support her husband.

“I expect that his wife is going to get a lot of pressure to show up at one point and I think she’s an important part of the story now. The root of the crisis here is a marriage relationship.

“What I expect in this big comeback is she has to show some kind of support, whether she’s comfortable with it or not.”

Thompson said Woods had to go back to what he does best.

“What Tiger Woods needs to do to resurrect his career is to go back and play golf as good as he used to play. If he can continue to be the very best in his sport that anybody on planet Earth has ever been, a lot of this goes away.”



TIGER WOODS SCANDAL





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