Let's be honest, Tiger Woods's press conference today was as much about offering an apology as it was about repairing his public image. Judged on that goal, I think he did a pretty good job. We may have been expecting much more, since Tiger waited months to finally speak, but alas, he wasn't going to offer up any more details than he had to. Next time a famous person has to publicly apologize for infidelity (and we know there will be a next time), here are a few things they can learn from the golfer.
- Bring your mom, not your betrayed wife. When politicians like Eliot Spitzer have their wives stand behind them, it comes off like they're using their partners to look better. Instead, Tiger brought his mother, who appeared rightfully upset in the audience.
- Stand up for your wife. Tiger only had nice things to say about Elin, and rightfully so. Although when he told the public "not to blame Elin," it left me thinking, "um, no one is blaming Elin."
- Be specific, but don't offer too many details. Tiger said straight out "I had affairs," but unlike SC Gov. Mark Sanford, he did not go into the embarrassing details about these lovers. That might be convenient for him, but it's also respectful to his family.
- Don't mention your charity. This came off to me like Tiger was trying to win cheap points. But if he's going to rehabilitate his public image, I guess I can't blame him for mentioning some of his redeeming qualities. Still, it's a don't.
- Don't read too much from prepared remarks. When he relied heavily on his notes, Tiger's speech came off as insincere.
- It's all about you. Tiger missed this point when he started blaming the media for following his wife. He may want them to stop, but he didn't seem to accept the fact that his actions directly caused the attention. He knew the extent of his fame, and he still acted recklessly.
- Go back to rehab. While we can never know his true motivations, Tiger's announcement that he will return to treatment offers evidence that he really does want to change.
Did you tune in to the press conference? What did you make of it?
To see video of the full press conference,