By Zach Baru
Public relations is never a guarantee that a problem will simply go away, but when executed correctly, it always makes the image of the organization better. Such was not the case with the Red Sox over the last month, where a lack of honesty, information and basic communication have lead to the current public relations nightmare on Yawkey Way.
Staying one step ahead of the media is so important for a professional sports franchise, and making sure you don't fall behind is key. This was the biggest problem for the Red Sox, who simply took a back seat to all their issues, allowing the media to take them down.
And although Red Sox Nation hasn't completely fallen apart, the peices are surely beginning to crack. No venue in any professional sport can sell out every game, every season. It is inevitable that the Red Sox sell out streak will come to an end, and with games in 2011 selling out slower, it gives signs that day is near. With the end of the sell out streak could be a downward effect on the organization, when broadcast ratings, merchandise sales, sponsorship sales and everything in between begins to decline.
This is without question a very important time for the Red Sox organization to maintain fan support, which has been such a key factor in driving the franchise to new heights since the new ownership took over. Honesty needs to be a priority, as the Red Sox can no longer let the media break stories from within the organization. The public can easliy be angered, but will always be easier to please when telling the truth.
What is so bothersome is that the Red Sox are not using the massive Boston media market to its advantage. When small market franchises make mistakes, they often anger fans, but are not able to be resolved in the media due to a lack of exposure. The Red Sox have a much different situation than most other franchises, in that they can use the media to their advantage. More honesty, more admission of guilt, and less dancing around the issues that fans want answers to.
This mess won't go away in the media, it will only grow bigger. But with the right PR moves, it can be fixed.
Zach Baru can be followed on Twitter @zbaru and reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.