The PA Team was VERY surprised by crisis expert Gene Grabowski's recommendations for KellyTilghman's return to the Golf Channel.
His advice offered very few useful and/or practical suggestions for how Tilghman should have approached her public apology and would likely have made things worse rather than better, according to our reading of the advice offered by Grabowski. In our opinion, Kelly did a great job of avoiding the defensive apology --she didn't claim, for example, that people "may have been hurt" or "may have misinterpreted" her point and accepted full and complete responsibility for her offensive comments. She also avoided any reference to the viewers' misunderstanding of her intensions. The mistake embedded in her insensitive comments about Tiger conveyed a weakness with Tilghman's understanding of American history and its impact on contemporary social tensions in the US -- it had nothing to do with audience misperceptions. With respect to Grabowski's recommendation that Kelly express her love for the sport in the apology -- this would have come across as an obvious attempt to generate sympathy for her when the focus should be on conveying sympathy for those she upset. We think she should also have considered some meaningful form of compensation -- for example, an offer to contribute her time to a few events sponsored by the Tiger Woods Foundation. In sum, we were very surprised that none of these observations or recommendations was included in Grabowski's expert advice.