The Astros Scandal and the Importance of Reputation

March 5, 2020


Today’s Two Minutes of Advice from Sunwest: all about baseball. It’s spring training, and today we’re gonna talk about the Houston Astros and their reputation. A great example of a brand that’s gone from hero to zero, if you will. Hero on the baseball field, zero from a reputation perspective, some might say. It was just in October that the Astros had to fire their Assistant General Manager for making inappropriate comments to female reporters. They actually accused one of those women of falsifying a story. It wasn’t true, they had to apologize, they fired the guy. More recently, of course, is the sign-stealing scandal. They’ve apologized – kind of, some might argue. So, it’s a great reminder to all of us what to do if your brand, your reputation, you as an individual or a company, are under attack by the media or on social media. First, you have to apologize and take responsibility if you or your brand has done something wrong. If you don’t know, you at least have to indicate that you take the charges seriously. Second comes a declaration of intent. This is who we are, this is what we’ll tolerate, this is what’s okay in our culture, and this is what’s not. It reminds your audience of what you believe in and why they’re following you. Third, of course, is your action plan. If you’re apologizing, what will you do differently next time to ensure this doesn’t happen again? If you’re saying you take the charges seriously, you have to indicate that you’re investigating, and if it ends up that you did do something wrong, you will apologize when that news comes to light. But sometimes – in fact, most of the time – it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. So in any of those messages, they have to be delivered with sincerity and humility. You have to ask yourself, do you want to win the argument, do you want to in fact ensure that you tamp down the injustice, or do you want to win your audience back? And that’s what it’s all about in the reputation game is ensuring that after this particular issue passes, your audience is still with you and still a fan. And that’s Two Minutes of Advice today from Sunwest.