One move that costs you.
Sometimes, no matter how many great things that you do, it doesn’t matter. One event has redefined who and what you are for the rest of your life. Ronan Tynan, the great Irish tenor who became a staple at New York Yankees’ games when he sang “God Bless America,” can attest to this.
Tynan is now known as someone who allegedly made an anti-Semitic slur. His life has been forever changed. All this despite years of wonderful public relations for singing at 9-11 funerals, performing for our troops, and his time with the famed Irish Tenors. He had carte blanche in New York City. One singular event changed that, which proves that (unfortunately) one bad move can and will cost you.
I couldn’t help but feel bad for Mr. Tynan. I have been a fan of his long before he became known as the person who sang at Yankees games. His voice is powerful and he sings with such passion. Granted, I had forgotten about this nearly year-old story, but there are many who haven’t. The Yankees gave him the boot and he still receives mailed threats on his life. Much of what was said is in dispute because there are accounts that Mr. Tynan’s words were taken out of context.
However, Mr. Tynan did do something smart by reaching out to the Anti-Defamation League to be part of its initiatives. It showed that he cared about not being perceived as someone who was racist. Despite his actions after the incident and a prominent Rabbi saying the case was closed in his book, the damage was done.
You can have all the good public relations in the world built up in your arsenal and, sometimes, it just doesn’t matter. In the court of public opinion, people’s minds were made up. Mr. Tynan is leaving New York for Boston now. Maybe the move will help things quiet down for good.
This type of situation stresses, in PR, that it’s always good to have a crisis communications plan. Make sure your company is prepared to handle any situation. Think two steps ahead of where you are now. Realize that a crisis can happen when you least expect it. If you are ready, you can roll out your plan.
What would you have done differently in Mr. Tynan’s situation? Could anything different have been done? Share your thoughts!
Posted on March 9, 2010, in Media, Public Relations, Sports and tagged anti semetic, crisis communications, God Bless America, Irish, Irish Tenor, Jason Mollica, New York Yankees, plan, PR, Public Relations, ring, Ronan Tynan, slur, World Series, Yankee Stadium. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.