National media has made a crater out of Kirk Ferentz, Gary Barta and the Iowa football program for, mostly, not being in Iowa City for Wednesday's news conference.
I chatted with a PR professional tonight.
Here were some of his notes on the nuts and bolts of today's event from that perspective:
-- Zero presentation.
Presentation speaks to an authoritative nature.
-- No information to work with or POV (point of view) to work from.
Stuff and stuff without a clear voice on what the stuff is. Dr. John Stokes was an authority but relevance hurt by not being directly involved. (Could UI have used one of the players' doctors? I don't know. Maybe in general terms.)
-- Tradition of dripping press releases with incomplete information and revised nothingness creates aggravation.
And let's face it, there is plenty of aggravation.
-- This was text book how to make everything worse than whatever it is.
Too reactive, IMO. The story started to leak and so the reaction was forced. (I don't think any definitive answers have been reached on the why 13 players ended up in the hospital. But can you afford to wait? Not unless you want more questions.)
-- Ferentz could have called in or called in a statement.
Without question. Probably wouldn't have calmed the waters today, but it would've been something.
-- The kids broke the story. Wait for them to complete it is better than this [bleep].
Facebook was where a lot of media outlets first put the pieces together on this story. This opens the door to the thought "what are they trying to hide?"
Believe me, heard that more than once today.
It was interesting to hear the PR perspective. I've never considered some of these ideas. You can say so much without saying anything. I think that's the moral of today, at least it might explain some of the reaction.Expect a clean-up press conference.