As many of you may know, the recent scandal with former Baltimore Ravens football player, Raymell “Ray” Rice and his wife, Janay Palmer, has blasted its way through the media. For those who don’t know, Rice was recently exposed for abusing his wife in a public elevator. Even worse, he was caught dragging her body out of the elevator once he knocked her unconscious. Sigh.
Rice had been suspended for a few games and was due to start playing again next week. But now that this video was released, well…um…he’s fired.
HOWEVER, there are rumors going around that he is able to reapply or appeal the NFL’s decision (or something like that). If so, I imagine his publicist already has a plan in place. So as an aspiring public relations professional, it is my duty to share how Rice (and his team) is going to make this happen. In some variation, I believe the stages listed below will happen. I call this plan Operation “Get Well Soon.”
Phase 1: Apologize. To EVERYBODY.
The first big step to forgiveness is to say he’s sorry and promise to never do it again. Easy enough, right? Here’s the trick, though: Rice has to MEAN it. No one will take him seriously if he apologizes and does it again a year later. In the meantime, Rice has to apologize to a lot of people, a bunch of times. These people include his wife and kid (obviously), the NFL, his fans, his sponsors, anti-abuse advocacy groups and any other supporters he may have.
Phase 2: Community Service.
After apologizing to 50 million people (I just made that number up), Rice has to give back to those he offended. Whether he donates money to charity or volunteers at a shelter, Rice will have to give in order to receive.
Phase 3: Therapy (the “get well” part).
Of course! In the eyes of the public, Rice has a problem. So what better way to regain trust than to fix the problem? Get ready, Rice, because there’s no hiding your emotions anymore. “So how does that make you feeeel?”
Phase 4: Silence.
Rice has to go off the radar for a bit. It’s as if he’s “finding himself.” At least, it has to seem that way. At this point, Rice will have to subtly show that he’s taken time off to rebuild his life and become the type of “family man” that he wasn’t before. A picture here. A magazine article there. He has to give everyone time to forgive and forget (or at least, forgive). It’s the only way to move on. I mean, think about it. When you break up with a boyfriend/girlfriend, isn’t it much easier to move on if you stop seeing his/her face for a while? Just saying.
Phase 5: Back at it.
Rice will try to re-enter the workforce. Whether he submits an appeal for the NFL or applies for a completely different position, you will see him in action again. Trust me.
Of course, I’m no expert (yet), and these tactics are not definite. I don’t even know how long this process will take. But I believe my ideas have provided an accurate description of what’s to come next.
Any thoughts? Please comment below!