Opinion: Yet another PR blunder?

It's not the public relations hit that the "Love Boat" incident was, but the latest "FuneralGate" story involving the team's decision to NOT pay Troy Williamson for missing last week's game is another blunder in managing public perception.

The team’s lack of appreciation for the value of positive public relations has once again bitten the team square in the butt.

The latest is their handling of the Troy Williamson situation in choosing to dock him a week’s paycheck – $25,588.24 – for tending to his family situation after the death of his grandmother.

The story has now earned national media attention with the general description of the organization being along the lines of cheap, heartless and long-term-ignorant on the fan-o-meter.

For a team that can’t sell out its home games, with a coach perhaps as popular as either George W. Bush or Congress (take your pick), unable to develop a reliable passing game, and in desperate need of some degree of public support for a new stadium, you would think the organization would have chosen the other path.

The buck has to stop with owner Zygi Wilf on this one.  Please bring someone into your organization that understands the concept of managing public perception.  All the real estate development success, political lobbying experience, Xs and Os brilliance, personnel evaluation savvy and salary cap prowess do not get the job done.

Managing public affairs is a distinct skill set that the Vikings have struggled with.

Childress gets thrown to the wolves to explain the company’s “business principle” behind this latest decision.  Childress goes on to compare Williamson’s situation to that of Pat Williams and Indy’s Reggie Wayne, who played on the heels of losing a parent.

He’s quoted as saying, “If you don’t show up, how does that work.”

It’s called bereavement, coach.  Everybody deals with personal loss and tragedy differently.

It doesn’t matter if you’re justified or not, the organization comes off looking cold and lacking in compassion.

To talk about building this team around character and family and then have this happen to a member of the family isn’t exactly walking the walk.

Do the right thing, Zygi.  Fix this.  You can’t afford to stick with company policy once again.


Viking Update Top Stories