Woods’ mea culpa a first step—but was it sufficient?

Tiger’s delay in coming forward put an added burden on his scripted apology. Video

Tiger’s delay in coming forward put an added burden on his scripted apology

Although he’s not out of the rough yet, Tiger Woods took a significant step Friday in repairing the considerable damage to his image sustained after the Thanksgiving weekend incident.

He could have avoided much of the pain and paparazzi hounding of the last three months by offering his “I’m sorry” speech in the days right after the accident.

Perhaps this is the most important communications lesson from this entire situation. Had Woods offered up this much information himself a few days after crashing his car into that fire hydrant, people would still be fascinated by the story, but the media wouldn’t have had the chance to reveal so many surprises.

Yes, the media would still track down the women with whom he had relationships. Yes, many would wonder what happened at the Woods home that evening. However, a lot of what he discussed in the great mea culpa speech, we already knew from stories the media had dug up.

Look at the people who get out in front of the story. They have much more control over how it plays. David Letterman, for one, used the technique in revealing his affairs after the alleged blackmail attempt. The story died quickly, and Letterman continued to win the late-night talk show battle.

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