Ed. note: The following is a guest post from Ben Cooke, president of Lucid Public Relations. He has been a public relations professional for six years, and analyzes the ramifications the Green Bay Packers and Mike McCarthy’s firing of long-time employee Mike Wood. Ben can be contacted via the Lucid Public Relations website.
As if Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy’s image wasn’t getting bad enough.
Most fans are already displeased with the current state of the Green Bay Packers, now he’s looking worse with reports surrounding the firing of maintenance worker Mike Wood. Wood was fired after 22 years at the organization over what sounds like a simple misunderstanding.
Note to McCarthy and Packers PR staff: Get this fixed now.
Perhaps reports of McCarthy’s inability to fix delicate situations are true, (see offensive line, special teams, game-day penalties, Brett Favre) in which case probably nothing can be done, but if I ruled the universe McCarthy is personally calling Mike Wood into his office where they can both apologize for this misunderstanding, shake hands and Mr. Wood can continue his tenure (preferably with a photographer from the Associated Press standing nearby).
McCarthy has an opportunity to correct a wrong here. Now, granted I don’t know Mr. Wood any better than I know McCarthy. Perhaps Wood’s comment was simply the straw that broke the camel’s back. At this point it doesn’t matter whether it was right or wrong to fire Mr. Wood. The press is making McCarthy look like an ass; the obvious solution is to bring Wood back.
Especially with headlines like Packers Maintenance People are to Be Seen and Not Heard courtesy of The Sporting News circulating the web something needs to be done to correct the situation. Certainly something more than McCarthy’s buck passing, dismissive and careless comment: “I’m not involved in that decision and frankly I had zero intention, zero conversation … anything to do with that.”
Jeez, Mike we’re only talking about a man’s livelihood here, maybe you could at least tell us that you’d look into it? Please?
As a PR guy in LA I have to handle my fair share of damage control with clients, but I don’t think anyone expects a team like the Green Bay Packers to shaft a career maintenance man for sharing some banter with the coach. If that’s how things are really run around there maybe next we’ll find out that McCarthy demands a bowl full of blue M&M’s in his office every day.
Mr. McCarthy, I don’t think it’s too much to do what’s right here, the economy sucks, the holidays are here, give the man back his job. Just be sure to let everyone know you did and maybe your favorable public opinion will go up. Though at this point, it may be too little too late.