Super Bowl weekend usually brings more than the game, great advertising and too much food. Often, a player or another principal goes a little haywire.
This week it was Beyoncé, who’s performing at halftime in New Orleans, answering her critics on whether she lip-sinked the National Anthem during President Obama’s inauguration; and former Dolphins QB and current CBS NFL commentator Dan Marino admitting he fathered a daughter with a former CBS production assistant in 2005.
First, Beyoncé stood before a packed news conference and, after deftly asking everyone to stand, sang the anthem live on Thursday. She belted it out. She hit all the notes. And she did it with a smile. She admitted she’d sung the anthem over her own pre-recorded version, explaining she hadn’t had time to rehearse with the Navy band before the ceremony. And she smiled that million-dollar smile. End of story.
Marino’s crisis benefitted from being seven years old. Presumably, his family and colleagues dealt with it however they did and moved on. Marino and his wife of 28 years, Claire, have six children, two of whom they adopted. Said Marino:
“This is a personal and private matter. I take full responsibility both personally and financially for my actions now as I did then,” Marino said in a statement. “We mutually agreed to keep our arrangement private to protect all parties involved.”
Surely both celebrities had access to the best advisors, and Marino has probably had his statement and answer ready for years. He avoids coming off as a cad who fought paternity. He has apparently taken care of his daughter and her mother.
These are both good lessons in crisis management. Be as open as possible, admit to being human, take responsibility and apologize.
They will both be footnotes for this Super Bowl, not punching bags.
The content of this blog is about crisis management and mismanagement in a digital age. It originates with Steve Bell, who spent 30 years as a journalist for the Associated Press and in four top editor positions at The Buffalo News. He is now Partner/Director of Public Affairs at Eric Mower + Associates, one of the nation’s largest independent advertising, integrated marketing and public relations agencies, with seven offices in the Northeast and Southeast. Learn more about EMA at http://www.mower.com. Steve’s blog is based on his own opinions and does not represent the views or positions of Eric Mower + Associates.