Lance Armstrong was a hero to many and an inspiration for thousands of people. The International Cycling Union (UCI) on Monday gave its backing to a report by the US Anti-Doping Agency that placed Armstrong at the heart of the biggest doping program in sporting history.
This week, Armstrong was handed down a life ban from cycling and he was also stripped of his seven Tour de France titles. To cap off an eventful week (and many months), his sponsors are fleeing him and he has stood down as chairman of his Livestrong Foundation. With the facts stacked against him, Armstrong has seemed to all but given up and so has his army of strong supporters. With Armstrong known for his fighting spirit and courage, the moment he gave up the fight, people began to believe the evidences against him and that Armstrong was in fact, the biggest drug cheat in history.
Crucial PR lessons can be learnt from Lance Armstrong’s situation. These were put simply by Gil Rudawsky from PR Daily. Four simply (but vital) points that should be taken from this situation are:
· Less is more: A short, strong, well-crafted statement can blunt the sharpest of attacks.
· Coordination and consistency: Getting your legal team on the same page as your PR team can help win the courtroom of public opinion.
· Staying on point: Steadily sticking with messaging through the years.
· The big picture: A PR campaign is only as good as the evidence against it.
But one of the main lessons we can learn from this situation and that we should be communicated to clients, is that hiding facts will only stay hidden for so long. As the saying goes, truth shall set you free!
The disappointment and abuse of trust of Lance Armstrong cheating was felt by not just cycling fans but the general public. Everybody felt some connection with his achievements and causes. He made people want to achieve greatness and push life to the limit. He pushed people to fight and never give up.
However, although a dark period in sporting history, we still need to remember greatness can still be achieved through ones own ability. We just need to re-build trust and believe in dreams and goals.
As the famous quote by Ernest Hemingway goes…
“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”…
What are your thoughts?
Can we handle the truth?
What are your thought on the Lance Armstrong situation?
Do you believe all the accusations?
How do you think his team have handled it?
Kate and the Stormettes