Ways For Pro Athletes To Recover From a PR Crisis

2016-08-04 by Ronn Torossian

Ways For Pro Athletes To Recover From A PR Crisis

Let’s face it, collegiate and pro athletic stars have given too many examples of ways they can crash and burn outside of the playing field. Whether it is one who chose to punch his fiancée, get a picture taken using illegal drugs, sexting, or sporting a handgun – such choices can ruin an entire career, sometimes even before it begins. But for some, it’s possible to recover, bounce back, take control of their life moving forward.

Here are some of the steps needed – but keep in mind, the best option is still not to get in trouble in the first place.

Admit to the mistakes and stop being arrogant

No matter what the offense was that set the crisis in motion, don’t drag out the damage. Admit to the problem, figure out a way to make it right and show an intention to follow the proper course in the future. And for heaven’s sake, don’t act like an arrogant jerk whose talent means he’s above the regular rules the rest of us follow.

Think how long the Tiger Woods scandal went on – mainly because he refused to accept he had been caught and start turning the tide.

Instead, his denial made journalists and others dig deeper, force more of his secrets into the public view until ultimately it was impossible to not admit the problem and hide away in a treatment center. If he had done that sooner, the damage to his career and his personal life might have been considerable less.

Name recognition

If you aren’t yet widely recognizable to the public, even if you’ve been convicted, or pictures have been leaked, it will probably be easier to recover and have a career, though resolving the problem and putting it behind you is imperative – don’t keep following the same bad behavior.

For those who are widely known, it’s also possible to recover, but only with the support of team owners, coaches, and management. If they aren’t willing to take the risk, there’s not much hope. However, some athletes function outside of those restrictions, golfers, swimmers, race car drivers are all prime examples of those who may continue in their careers, but sponsorships may run dry for a time, at least until you can prove your ability to bring them revenue with your accomplishments.

Stay clear of scandal

Since almost everyone carries a smartphone with camera and video capabilities these days, bad decisions in public will probably make their way onto social media or other reports. And as the number of such incidents rises, the public outrage grows. In the past, as long as athletes still did well while playing, a lot of stuff got swept under the table and overlooked. That trend has been changing. And when organizations like the NFL only hit egregious misbehavior with minor fines or short suspensions, the public has started to voice their concern and anger.

So, staying clear of any scandal will always be the best defense for keeping an athletic career on course.

About Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations. He is an experienced leader in the public relations industry with over 20 years of experience. Ronn Torossian has been named as Public Relations executive of the year by the American Business Awards, and has run countless award-winning Public Relations programs.

ronn torossian 5wpr ceo

Ronn Torossian: Insights from a Native New Yorker and CEO of 5WPR

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 200 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities