As a public relations executive I keep an eye on current events for several reasons, but mostly, to learn from others on how to best communicate during times of crisis. Banned cyclist Lance Armstrong is one of those people who is often embroiled in some sort of controversy (self-created) and as such, he often proves to be a great case PR study, mostly in not what to do when a crisis hits.
I don’t think that there’s anyone who believes that he adhered to the strict guidelines set forth by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, and apparently, now he even is backing down from upholding his innocence. He apparently is planning on confessing to using banned substances to gain back his eligibility in some fashion to compete again.
HONESTY IS THE BEST TACTIC
I am writing this post is to prove that “honesty is the best PR policy.” Once a lie is spoken – it becomes a slippery slope to keep defending it. In fact, the truth will always come to the surface and will eventually bite you in the behind.
The advice I always give when I’m involved in situations when someone is faced with a negative event like a DUI arrest, nasty divorce or some type of allegation is to be as honest as you possibly can from the start. I am a firm believer in being proactive in dealing with situations. This is the best way to to disarm the media. Instead of allowing them to ask the questions you don’t want asked…answer them. It leaves them speechless.
Armstrong, on the other hand, left me speechless for other reasons, mostly for how he tried to bamboozle us that he was as white as snow in everything that he was ever accused of by former teammates. He’s flat out lied to reporters, sponsors, colleagues and his fans — he held fast to the fact that he said he never did anything wrong to enhance performances. But, it was proved that he did and since then all his accolades have been wiped clean.
What causes me such disdain is is how he has used every circumstance in life not to give, but to get. And he’s doing it again. He’s not coming forward with the truth because it is something he should do – because it shows character – but to hopefully gain admittance back in to the competitive world. He’s a taker. Opportunist. Liar.
I, for one, think it is an astrocity how little respect he has for others and the world’s systems. I, for one, hope that his “gaming” of the system ends and that he is held accountable for his actions. The lies must stop and I hope one day he realizes that honesty is the best policy. This man was once highly-respected and now…its hard to find something positive to say. What a sad sad story.