Saturday, January 19, 2013

Crash Course in Bad Apologies

The "Tour de Lance" apology spin didn't go exactly as Lance Armstrong must have hoped.   Before Armstrong's interview with Oprah Winfrey aired, we said that he had just one chance to get the apology right.  Oops.

It is rare that any creative effort is panned by everybody.  If there is a critic on the planet who thought Armstrong was victorious Thursday night -- we haven't found him or her yet.

When you are as badly damaged as Lance was going into the interview, your only hope for salvation is to demonstrate that you are truly completely sorry -- not that you got caught -- but for what you did.

Turns out Armstrong is not very good at faking sincerity.

When he did admit that other people were hurt -- too often he did so in the third person, saying for example that a team masseuse was among those who had been run over and bullied -- omitting that he was the person who did it.

The impression he conveys through much of the interview is one of smugness.  Judging by the reports of the size of his entourage -- we suspect Armstrong had media training before the interview -- but either he ignored it -- or whomever trained him wasn't very good.

Past experience has shown that those who have committed major transgressions and fail to apologize quickly and completely -- rarely receive redemption.  Just ask Pete Rose.

The only winner in Thursday night's wreck was Oprah Winfrey -- and her victory was not complete.

The next major figure who has destroyed their own reputation is unlikely to think that the road to recovery is on the OWN network -- given Armstrong's failure to win his uphill battle there.


L Chambers said...

The Armstrong group didn't hire the right crisis PR team.

L Chambers said...

The Armstrong group hired the wrong crisis PR team!