Bad Ben


We’ve been discussing crisis communications in my Applied PR class this week, particularly how organizations handle scandals involving celebrity spokespersons. One of my classmates brought up Ben Roethlisberger in her discussion.  I have to agree that with everything that’s gone down these last few weeks, it seems like my Pittsburgh Steelers are nearly in crisis mode as an organization. In just two years, I’ve watched my dreamy team go from being Super Bowl champs to the subject of many jokes among my Cowboy-loving friends and family (I’m still trying to convince my sister-in-law that the Cowboys are gross, and my friend Christina is hopelessly in love with Tony Romo, so I think she’s beyond help).

The Steelers made a pretty bold statement by trading Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes to the Jets earlier this week, indicating that the organization’s tolerance for bad behavior off the field is pretty low—which has usually been the case. And from the statements I’ve read today from Steelers president Art Rooney, it looks like Ben is skating on really thin ice, too. I don’t think he’ll be getting by without some sort of punishment.

Everyone who knows me will tell you what a fanatical Big Ben fan I am. But, I’m a Steelers fan first and foremost, so whatever Ben’s punishment is, I will support it. Even though Ben hasn’t been convicted of a crime and no charges will be filed in this latest incident, it’s unquestionable that he’s displayed some pretty horrible behavior in the last year. At least for now, I’m retiring my daughter’s Roethlisberger jersey, and my own as well. We’ll be wearing Polamalu instead next season 😉

So, how do you guys feel the Steelers handled this PR nightmare? Do you think they’ve been too harsh? Not harsh enough?

On a totally unrelated subject, I want to share a cool story with you. We’ve talked a lot in my classes about how organizations and companies are using social media to communicate with consumers, and I’ve even talked about it some in this blog. My friend, Kevin, is a current IMC student enrolled in IMC 619 (Emerging Media and the Market). For that class, Kevin has to write a blog (which I check out regularly). Kevin talks a lot about new technology in his blog, and the other day he wrote about a new scheduling service called Tungle. Soon after Kevin posted his blog, he got a very nice response from the CEO of Tungle himself!  Kevin was very impressed with the CEO’s hands-on approach to social media, and I can only agree.  Tungle is a great example of a company that effectively uses social media to connect with consumers. And, I think Kevin should get an A+ for his blog this week— just sayin’ … 😉

2 Responses to “Bad Ben”

  1. Julie Davis Says:

    I had a similar experience with 619. I wrote an entry about crowdsourcing, mentioning some companies I believed were doing a good job with it. One company was RYZ Wear. They make some really cute tennis shoes. I got a comment from someone representing the company. He asked my shoe size and a week later, I had a new pair of shoes! Super cool!

  2. stacywise Says:

    That’s awesome! I checked out their site — very cute shoes!

    Hmmmm, maybe if I keep talking about Apple in my blogs they will send me a new iPhone this summer … 😉

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