New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick is the Marshawn Lynch of NFL coaches.
If the league didn’t require it, Belichick would never speak to the media. He makes that obnoxiously clear every time he must. Thus the hilarious and inevitable Saturday Night Live skit last night.
What started last week as multiple sightings of the elusive and winning coach cascaded into so many appearances you’d think Belichick was trying to out-do Jerry Seinfeld on a stand-up tour.
If you count the required Saturday evening pre-game gathering with the TV production team, the half-time snippet and the post-game news conference, Belichick has held six news conferences or media availabilities in seven days. Three of those weren’t even required by league rules. That’s Obamaland.
If yesterday’s content were to be believed, Coach Hoodie wanted the scheming sports scribes to know that the weather made the footballs soft. And investigation showed that. The team did nothing wrong. Oh, and I’m not saying another word about it.
In the media training coaches from Eric Mower + Associates have conducted for hundreds of executives over 25 years, there are a few rock-solid rules: Get the facts out fast; if there’s bad news, don’t wait for your critics to reveal it; say what you have to say and stop; and, never deny, delay or deceive. Finally, stand up there and answer every question until the reporters walk away mumbling about brain overload.
Belichick, known for pulling amazing things out of his playbook, certainly pulled some good strategies out of the crisis management playbook last week.
We still don’t know what the No Fun League will determine or who investigators might blame for illegally deflated footballs in the Pats’ game against the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday.
But Belichick, for one, has done everything right to make sure his and the team’s side of the story is out there and in your face.
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 and Crisis and Reputation Management at Eric Mower + Associates, one of the nation’s largest independent advertising, integrated marketing and public relations agencies, with seven offices in the East. Learn more about EMA at mowerpr.com/crisisready. Steve’s blog is based on his own opinions and does not represent the views or positions of Eric Mower + Associates.