Blog for May, 2014

Be careful what you wish for.

By: Spritz  |  May 2, 2014  | 

“All press is good press”, or so the saying goes. In a world revolving around social media, digital marketers pray for their posts to go viral and Publicists pine after making headlines. But what happens when someone makes a mistake, and every agency, newsroom and layman have their digital eyes glued to your screen? In this day and age, snafus are made legendary, forever burned into your database, marring your name for years to come, because people love mistakes. And while every PR and marketing professional will cringe when such a large-scale event hits the fan, we all secretly love seeing how the crisis is handled.

In the most recent blunder, former owner of the LA Clippers made an outrageous comment to his (already taboo) mistress, resulting in one of the worst scandals in recent NBA history and a PR agency’s nightmare. In an effort to separate themselves from their owner, the Clippers banded together wearing their jerseys inside out, an act of solidarity against Sterling and his crass statements. This quiet, but very public statement sent a message that Sterling’s views were in no way representative of the Team’s views on the subject.

This seemingly small but powerful act began their recovery process and reputation management. It became imperative that the Clippers separate their values as a team from the damaging words of their owner. As the story unfolded, ultimately ending with a lifetime ban for Sterling, the Clippers continued to react as a single unit, centering their brand on “We Are One” messaging.

For the first few days, the simple message took the place of their website, eliminating the ability to click through to other pages in the website. This clearly designated their stance and delivered a powerful message, its aim to set the team apart from Sterling. Today, the banner still hangs on their page along with other positive messages such as “We Can Move Forward”, “One Team, One Goal”, and “Getting Back to Basketball”, as well as highlighting their fans outpour of support for the team.

With this brand revitalization, the Clippers plan to come out of this extremely controversial time as a stronger and more unified force. Which is, really, the best outcome anyone could hope for. We only hope it doesn’t make them so strong as to defeat the Warriors. (Sorry, San Francisco pride all the way).

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