An oft-updated blog can really make the line of communication from the higher-ups in the organization much clearer. For my example on how to not use your blog when running into PR problems, I will use the recent example of the Los Angeles Lakers, an NBA team that is consistently at the top of their conference year in and year out. They ran into a small problem with their players recently, as they put one of their star players on the trading block–power forward/center Pau Gasol.
Gasol is 7 feet tall and averaged 18.8 points per game last year, so why did management want to field trade offers for him?
This is the answer:
Dwight Howard plays for the Orlando Magic and is, without a doubt, the best center in the NBA. He’s a 6 time all-star and 3 time Defensive Player of the Year. He is also in the last year of his contract, which means he will be an unrestricted free agent when the season ends. When the Magic was eliminated in last year’s playoffs, Howard demanded a trade. After meeting with management, Howard backed off his trade demands, but still said he wants out of Orlando because he doesn’t think management is putting the best players they can around him.
If the Lakers could pull off a trade package for Dwight Howard, the Lakers would be better off for the next decade; especially since superstar Kobe Bryant is showing some signs of aging.
So what’s the PR problem? All the trade rumors swirling around Gasol is affecting his performance on the basketball court and the Lakers were not playing up to the standard of quality basketball that they have been playing in the past. In fact, the rumors were getting so bad that Kobe Bryant called a players-only meeting. In that meeting, it was reported that the players were not happy with the coaches or the management in the way they were handling the Pau Gasol situation and that Bryant told the players to stick together and just play basketball, because there was nothing they could do about it.
The Lakers management in all this look like the bad guys for putting one of their most popular players on the trading block. If only they could clear the air and try to put their fans at ease with a blog post or something…oh wait, there’s nothing there. Not one post, quote, article, or anything. Take a look for yourself. The Lakers haven’t exactly been handling this situation very well, and just looking at that blog is great evidence.
1 of 2 things need to happen, as Kobe Bryant said. Either pull Pau Gasol off the trading block so they can focus on basketball, or trade him quickly so this will all be over with.