Saturday, October 20, 2012

Chill Pills and Public Relations Correspondences

As what Matt Clapp wrote on his post, team websites are usually means for the team to illustrate the positive things they do.

Unfortunately on Monday night, they were the victims of a second half Broncos stampede.

The following is a post (copied in full in case the piece would be removed) from San Diego Chargers' Public Relations Director Bill Johnston. He has been the head PR Guy of the Chargers for the past 24 seasons. It's on his twitter handle (@ChargersPRguy).
What’s with you people?

Yes, Monday night’s loss was bad. Horrible. Embarrassing.

Ok…enough already. No mas. I get it.

Now get over it. It was a loss. One loss.

Listening to some of you out there, you’d think Monday night was “win or go home” and the Chargers are now packing their bags.

“The Chargers are finished. Done,” said one scribe.

Another wrote, “Bye, bye Chargers. Put a fork in them.”

Sometimes I think Twitter was invented to give people a chance to puff out their chests and talk big, saying things they never would say to someone’s face.

And talk radio … don’t get me started. The old adage your mom used to preach – “If you don’t have anything good say, don’t say anything” – seems to have evolved to “if you don’t have anything good to say, call sports talk radio.”

Some of those folks are probably the same ones who called for former Head Coach Bobby Ross’ job when his first Chargers team started the 1992 season 0-4. I still remember the self-proclaimed experts saying Bobby was “in over his head”. The Chargers went on to win 11 of the next 12 games that year, along with a 17-0 victory in the first round of the playoffs.

A few of the more recent Chargers teams have been declared dead by quacks, only to awaken in good health. The 3-3 Chargers of 2004 won nine of their final 10 games. The ’06 Chargers won their final 10. The ’07 Chargers started 1-3 before winning 10 of their last 12. The ’08 Chargers won their final four in a row and the ’09 team won its last 11 games.

Time to take a chill pill. No one knows what will happen this season, yet alone the next game. That’s the beauty of the National Football League. I don’t know, you don’t know, no one knows what’s going to happen.

If you want these players and coaches to succeed, then support them. Don’t tear them down. What you want and what we all want, including your team, is to know people believe in them.

Look at it this way. We want our loved ones to succeed, and we’ll do whatever it takes to help them. But when they make mistakes, like we all do, we would never criticize or belittle them publicly.

Your team is 3-3, tied at the top of the division, and has 10 games to play.  If the Chargers are your team, get behind them and stay behind them.  We’re all at our best when we know others believe in us.
The tone of the piece sounded strong and over the top, something that resonated on the comments in the post in question.

It reminded me of how quick and responsive Dan Gilbert was immediately after The Decision. The difference is that one guy was an owner and the other a guy specialized in addressing fans and the media.

He did address the manner of expression in a series of tweets a few days later...
I think I struck a nerve with that one. Just one fan's opinion. A lot of passionate Charger fans out there. Thanks for caring.
Thx for chiming in. Like u, I'm a fan (since 79). My main message getting lost. It may hurt now, but lot of games to play. Thx for caring.
Thank you all for caring so much. Definitely understand frustration & meant no disrespect. Been fan since '70s & care & wrote from heart.
I see how hard players work every day. I see what good guys they are, & how much they want to win. Like you, it hurts when we don't.
The article was up on the same night as the Monday Night loss. The adage remains true, that there are moments where one should just sleep things over, to let the emotions settle and simmer down a bit.

However, it does remind the Chargers that this is once again typical Norv Turner M.O. for the past few seasons. Slow and frustrating starts each and every time. At some point, there will come a time where their trademark strong finishing kick just won't come. They have been a tease, and sometimes, patience wears thin on fans.

To their credit, at least they are in the news cycle during their bye week.

Update: Johnston added a post on the Chargers website earlier today to give further clarity on this situation.

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