Not a Chance Lance. What can we learn from Armstrong’s PR Battle?

Lance Armstrong on Oprah

Want to know why Lance Armstrong’s skilfully-orchestrated interview on Oprah has left everyone underwhelmed?

It’s because when you watch his confession you can’t help feeling part of a PR process.

A process where you, as the viewer, are merely a pawn with the power to help influence reputation in Lance’s favour.

Armstrong appears guarded and calculating. But perhaps the hours spent rehearsing legally-appropriate answers would have been better spent with Lance resolving to tell it how it was. And show us some honest regret and feeling for the sport he’s damaged and the competitors he cheated against.

His description of his career being one big lie is almost as though it all happened to him; not because of him!

No-one likes messing up. But, after watching the interview, you can’t help thinking Lance hates getting caught way more than he hates making mistakes.

And when you watch his interview there is not a hint of genuine regret for what he has done. Only, you sense, a regret that he has been found out in spectacular fashion. And a desperate hope that he can stem the tide of resentment against him. Not to mention the law suits.

Did it work as a PR exercise?

Early feedback suggests that he fell short of doing what was expected. He didn’t go far enough. And did little to foster any sympathy.

So what now for this fallen hero?

All Lance knows is to fight to survive. But right now he needs to fight for more than just Lance. This is no time to attempt to justify anything.

He could start by looking in the mirror. And instead of putting Lance first, focus on the people and the sporting community his actions have damaged. There’s plenty to go at!

Demonstrate, with authentic candour, that Lance Armstrong cares about other things in life apart from Lance Armstrong. It shouldn’t be too difficult for him to figure out what they are.

It’s time for actions not words to win back favour one small step at a time. And it will take time. Lots of it. One positive thing about the interview is that you sense he at least appreciates this.

He is lucky that people will be fascinated to see what his next steps are. All he has to do is make sure they’re in the right direction!


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