How Is Arnold Handling His PR Crisis?
News of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s love child broke two days ago. Similar to Tiger Woods scandal, it’s become a PR viral frenzy with 5,220 online stories written about it to date.
Not condoning his behavior, I give Schwarzenegger high marks for his current handling of the PR crisis and the statement he issued:
‘After leaving the governor’s office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago.
I understand and deserve the feelings of anger and disappointment among my friends and family. There are no excuses and I take full responsibility for the hurt I have caused. I have apologized to Maria, my children and my family. I am truly sorry.
I ask that the media respect my wife and children through this extremely difficult time. While I deserve your attention and criticism, my family does not.’
This statement accomplishes a few things: Arnold acknowledged the validity of the affair not denying any allegations and took full responsibility for his actions; he didn’t place blame. Arnold also apologized and welcomed all criticism and attention be directed at him, not his family. By doing this, he demonstrated care and concern for his family.
In PR crisis’, it’s always best to state the facts and come out with the truth as quickly as possible. Responding quickly and firmly, issuing a statement, publicly apologizing, taking responsibility, and showing remorse, these are the best things an individual or company could do in such crisis.
Arnold has also been seen with his children over the last few days, sharing a coffee with his younger daughter Christina; this will (over time) help with public perception from betraying his family to showing his love and support for his family.