Michael Vick Gives Lesson In Beating Bad PR

Michael Vick everything-pr

Look, I may not be the biggest animal fan in the world, but there is nothing about what Michael Vick did that I like. I loathe that anyone could do that to defenseless animals. But I live in the same world that you do. A world that is governed by rules, and consequences to those rules. Michael Vick served his time in jail, and was released. So who am I to sit here and be judge and jury as to his circumstance? You may have completely opposing views as me, or he, or she — and that is fine. But as far as law and government goes, he’s served his time. Which to me makes what his recent accomplishment means, all that more impressive.

Starting quarterback for the NFC in the Jan. 30 Pro Bowl in Honolulu will be Michael Vick. The same Michael Vick who sat out two seasons while serving a federal sentence for dogfighting. Vick won a league-wide vote by NFL players, coaches and fans. Before his jail sentence for running a dogfighting ring, Vick had made three Pro Bowls with Atlanta. After one year as a much maligned backup who attempted only 13 attempts in 2009, Vick is the NFC’s leading passer with 2,755 yards with 20 TD’s only 5 INT’s. Add on 613 yards rushing the ball with an additional 8 TD’s and Vick is having the type of season statistically that many of us had with him on Madden back in the early 2000’s.

I’m not here to convince you why he should be forgiven, nor am I here to tell you why he shouldn’t be. What I can tell you though is how Michael Vick gave you a lesson in PR: production beats everything else. It can be wilded down to that simple statement. No matter the hanis of the action, result, PR, or marketing nightmare — production drowns any and all noise. Feel about Michael Vick as you may off  field — on the field, he’s proven to be on a level that 98% of the other players in the NFL frankly aren’t.

The moral of this story has nothing to do with right or wrong. It has to do with this: is your bark bigger than your bite? (I know that is a horrible analogy given the individual centered in the topic of this blog, but deal with it) Those companies and individuals that can produce at the highest level of satisfaction, will be awarded certain free-passes that you and I simply won’t. It’s the way of the world. If you can outperform others, we make exception to your shortcomings. Right or wrong, its the facts of life. Production wins, 11 times out of 10.

And in the course of this endeavor, Michael Vick has worked with two leading PR firms, including Michael Sitrick of Sitrick & Company, as well as North Carolina based French West Vaughan.

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  1. Cat B says


    I don’t know you; never heard of you until this article.

    Have you been a long-time Eagles fan?

    I am.

    Hundreds of thousands of us are completely turned off by this man’s hiring.

    We refuse to watch the games and support the team while he is a member of the team.

    This is a fact, and no amount of Super Bowl rings or MVP nominations will erase the taste of bile from my mouth when I think of what he did.

    I simply cannot watch them play. Period.

    I am an animal lover, but am not a member of PETA by a long shot.
    I love my pets and acknowledge that they are bred to be dependent upon humans.
    They are loving, trusting creatures with limited means of fighting back if we choose to hurt them.
    They are like children in that respect.
    (Though people who dress up their animals in anything other than a collar or bandanna should be forced to wear pink tutus and carry a glitter wand to work!)

    So let me rephrase your argument, but change one simple word.

    “Well, yes, Michael made some bad decisions when he tortured and killed those children, but he served his sentence and paid the debt the law says he owes.
    It’s not fair to expect him to experience any other consequences as a result of his crime.
    He’s a darn good football player!
    People will just forget that he’s a coward and honor-deficient.
    It’s all gonna be peachy-keen from here on out, because touchdowns and MVPs trump everything.”

    No amount of whitewashing PR can do the WORK that Vick knows needs to be done.

    There are actions which can have no acceptable amount of jail time.

    There are actions which show a severe defect in a person’s character.
    Only with a prolonged period of rehabilitation and remorse does the severity of those actions become apparent to the perpetrator.

    Michael Vick has shown no remorse, or sincerely attempted in the slightest to show he understands that his actions were reprehensible, and start to improve his character.

    He instead tries to prevaricate and weasel his way out of the consequences of his actions.

    As such, I reserve the right to protect myself by shunning such a loathsome person.

    And until he changes, I will continue to do so, no matter how many bloggers and media hacks insist that character doesn’t count!

    PS–for those people who will be quick to point out the Donte Stallworth fiasco and subsequent lack of justice;

    #1–the Stallworth incident, combined with numerous other “celebrity athlete escapes justice” scenarios has only fueled my disgust for the NFL as a whole.
    I am only a casual football fan now, and am rapidly losing my taste for all professional sports.

    So maybe, Ryan, you might want to consider the bigger PR issue?*

    *Why do professional athletes/athletic teams allow self-proclaimed experts and Yes-Men to delude them into thinking that fans don’t believe that character counts…and then complain that they are losing money because the games aren’t being attended?

    Things that make you go, Hmmmmmm…

  2. says

    Yes, but it’s a lot easier to do in the sports world where production creates thousands of happy fans and monetary profits for the owners. When you are winning championships and bringing in money it’s easy for people to forgive. For those outside the sports world, it’s much harder. For example, what producer or director in their right mind would hire Mel Gibson right now.

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