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On April 10, 2012 Kevin Sullivan joined ESPN Radio’s Freddie Coleman to offer analysis of Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen’s news conference in which he publicly apologized for comments he had made about Fidel Castro.

Listen To The Audio Here

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Just when Tiger Woods was putting the scandal that cost him his marriage in the rearview mirror and regaining his mojo on Madison Avenue, the golf superstar is being ripped by critics for spurning the news media in favor of his own online video Q&A on Monday in which he answered questions from fans via social media.

Golf Channel TV anchor Eric Kuselias tweeted it was akin to “Soviet” pressers where Woods didn’t have to answer tough questions about kicking clubs at the Masters.

“So he is basically saying, ‘I am going to talk about the things that make me look good and that I feel like talking about,’ ” Kuselias said during Tuesday’s Morning Drive show. “To me, when you are a public figure and you are a professional athlete and you only acknowledge things that are good... +Continue Reading

 

President Obama’s director of progressive media is obsessed with one particular conservative provocateur. Jesse Lee’s duties at the White House include “online response” — and there has been no shortage of responses to one person who routinely communicates with him on Twitter.

Of the 267 tweets written by Lee in just over a month, a stunning 40 of them have been directed at Kevin Eder, a prolific Twitter user with more than 83,000 tweets to his credit. That means 15 percent of Lee’s tweets — from an official White House account no less — have been with Eder.

One such example happened last week in a dispute over the budget.

Eder posted this tweet: “Hmm…it can’t be true that @SenateDems haven’t passed a budget in 790 days and the only plan Obama has is a speech.... +Continue Reading

 

Behold, the unfinished legacy of Tiger Woods. We know there is so much more he wants to do.

We just don’t know yet if he can. We just don’t know yet if he will.

Somewhere out there, Woods, 35, fights the relentless battle of wear and tear and tries to escape the ever deepening bunker of age. There will come a day when he has no way out, no chance to get up and down.

“Father time is undefeated in this league,” Miami’s Dwyane Wade said recently about the NBA. But that goes for any sport, even golf. Father time always eagles No. 18.

But for now, a body tries to recover. A champion, having spent years now recuperating his knee or his swing or his image, vows his return. Better than ever. Maybe. A sport waits. So, too, do the sponsors, the networks, the public,... +Continue Reading

 

Engage with your followers, be insightful and entertaining, and put a spotlight on community service. Those are three keys for athletes on Twitter, courtesy of former White House communications director Kevin Sullivan, founder of Kevin Sullivan Communications and also former public relations executive at NBC Universal and the National Basketball Association’s Dallas Mavericks.

Sullivan told SportsBusiness Daily that he subscribed to the theory offered by Boston Celtics president Rich Gotham: If you’re going to Tweet, Tweet with a purpose. He also mentioned New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, who told his National Football League team that every Tweet “is a one-minute press conference.”

As examples of athletes on Twitter who engage with their followers, Sullivan... +Continue Reading

 

Rich Gotham had it right. The Boston Celtics president had joined the team’s public relations staff and me on a conference call to discuss the preseason team media training session I would be conducting. When the conversation turned to Twitter, Gotham provided very specific guidance.

“Tell the players, ‘If you’re going to tweet, tweet with a purpose.’”

Gotham wanted to help the Celtics avoid the self-inflicted Twitter turnovers that can distract a team or even hurt the club on the court. Careless use of social media has resulted in fines (Brandon Jennings of the Bucks) and suspensions (White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen), players being benched (former Jets wide receiver David Clowney, now with the Panthers) and even waived (former Chiefs running back Larry Johnson).

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No NFL game has been missed and no practices canceled, but there’s been no shortage of trash talk across the league in recent weeks.  Phrases like “liar,” “modern-day slavery” and unions across the board have “exceeded their bounds” have become commonplace. And the combination of Twitter, Facebook and other 24-hour media outlets has created what amounts to a constant screaming match, unlike any sports labor conflict in the past.

The taunting and name-calling is all part of a high-stakes battle to sway public opinion. It’s a battle that will likely have little effect on ongoing negotiations but could go a long way toward determining how deeply the fallout will be from the lockout. It’s also a dangerous game. Any lopsided shift in public opinion not only could add pressure on one... +Continue Reading

 

The last thing one expects when prepping a kid for a history test is to spot a public affairs lesson in the story of the Tea Party.

No, not that Tea Party. The one 238 years ago. At Boston Harbor. Involving the stuff you drink.

What struck me as my daughter and I went over the events of that winter night in 1773 was how the Boston rebels spread the story of their tea-dumping escapade from colony to colony. They so masterfully laced the tale with real-life heroes, villains and action that the story ignited support for revolution among colonists who – despite high taxes and heavy-handed British rule – weren’t yet sold on the idea.

Storytelling. This, says former White House communications director Kevin Sullivan, is the most powerful way to drive a public... +Continue Reading

 

Chicagoans are a remarkably tolerant species of sports fan — they have to be, or they wouldn’t turn out three million strong at Wrigley Field every year to watch a fifth-place ball club. That’s a good thing for the unsettlingly blasé Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who became the football equivalent of Mrs. O’Leary’s cow when a knee injury forced him out of a hyped effort to disrupt the Green Bay Packers’ Super Bowl run.

Cutler offered some barely coherent mumbles about his disappointment, then split for Los Angeles with his celebrity girlfriend, further offending Bears fans by walking around on a leg that should have required amputation if it had been damaged badly enough to force his removal from a Packers game. But that’s Cutler — on his best days, he has the social presence of... +Continue Reading

 

Traveling with President George W. Bush on Marine One three years ago, then-White House Communications Director Kevin Sullivan felt confident about the coming national media event, which called for Bush to give remarks at a military base and meet troops in a mess hall. But he hadn’t expected the president to lean forward and ask: “Is this thing indoors or outside?”

“He saw the look on my face… and he knew I wasn’t sure,” Sullivan shared with those attending the Public Affairs Council’s National PAC Conference this week in Miami, Fla. “Just when I thought I really had the material mastered, I had left off the most obvious detail.”

Sullivan could have fudged, but he had already learned the importance of this lesson: “If you don’t know, don’t guess.”

Speaking on the... +Continue Reading

 

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