How does Vick win folks back? He can start by Tweeting

The Wall Street Journal ran a story last week on “The Reinvention of Michael Vick,” and the article hit the same familiar points: Might need to re-start as a Wildcat quarterback; must take less money up front to prove himself; could be better off trying the United Football League first.

At this point, I’m as much intrigued by the reinvention of Michael Vick the person. What’s his strategy — I’m assuming he has one — to win back the public he lost when he pleaded guilty? What does he need to do to sway hearts and minds? So I asked a public relations professional.

Gail Sideman has her own firm in Milwaukee — it’s Publiside; catchy name, huh? — and she’s familiar with athletics (she worked as an intern under Claude Felton in Georgia’s sports information office) and Atlanta (she was the Metro Conference’s publicist when the Metro Conference existed and was based here) and electronic media (she works in TV). She’s also a leading exponent of social media, meaning Facebook and Twitter.

I asked her to sketch out a few top-of-the-head bullet points, and she did way more than that. Here, without further ado, is Ms. Sideman’s Quick Fix for Vick:

1. Michael Vick has to talk. He has done time in prison, but has not demonstrated remorse or apologized for his actions. He must talk to his public/fans.

2. He must show he’s human — social media would be a good start for that (really). He could put out some personal thoughts and communicate with fans/potential marketing partners. Right now few want anything to do with him because he’s a felon who instigated the killing of animals. If he wants to show he’s a good guy, he’s got to communicate that sincerely and consistently. His Tweets — or other comments via social media — should include his passion for football, desire to make an honest living and tidbits about his family interactions.

3. AFTER he’s reestablished a connection with football fans and communities and only after he’s garnered some trust should he do any PSAs (public service announcements) for the Humane Society or ASPCA. He must admit to his insensitive, cruel crime and connect with people, many of whom are pet lovers. THEN he can speak about being kind– and SHOW his kindness — to animals. Otherwise, these PSAs look phony and part of canned speak.

4. I’m sure Tony Dungy has spoken at length about this, but Vick has to leave the friends of his youth behind to show he’s moved onto a more trustworthy support system. He needs to surround himself, socialize and work with people with clean images. Guilt by association will continue to rule his life and being with innocent people will go a long way toward restoring his image — maybe even improve what it once was.

Would you follow Vick on Twitter?

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Me, I’d say this makes great good sense. There’s nothing outlandish involved, just basic PR. And lo and behold, the AJC’s Megan Matteucci is reporting Vick will be coming here this weekend for, of all things, a Humane Society event.

And the social media aspect, I must say, is most intriguing. Imagine Michael Vick on Twitter. Think he’d draw a few followers? A few hundred thousand? More even than Shaq and Ashton Kutcher combined?

(Oh, and if you’d like to follow Ms. Sideman on Twitter — you’ll learn things, I promise — she’s @Publiside.)

104 comments Add your comment

Reid Adair

August 3rd, 2009
3:10 pm

I don’t know that Twitter would help Michael that much. To me, he is better getting out into communities and SHOWING he has changed (assuming, of course, that he has).

Perhaps that will help get him back in good graces with much of the general public.

Hillbilly Deluxe

August 3rd, 2009
3:16 pm

I don’t know a thing about twittering. If Vick keeps a low profile, stays out of trouble and goes some place and produces, it’ll all work out. As Harry Caray said, longevity beats scandal.

TommyP

August 3rd, 2009
3:18 pm

All I know is when I click on a Twitter link, I get one big page with one small sentence. Typical for a generation that can’t stand to read. (now I sound like my dad)

ATLinDenver

August 3rd, 2009
3:21 pm

Bradley, you are a good writer but this incessant rehashing of all things Vick by you and
Schultz needs to stop. It seems to be a cheap and lazy method to drive traffic to the ajc website.

Regardless of whether the bloggers are for or against Vick, all the possible opinions on both sides
have been stated ad nauseum. There is nothing new to add to this subject so please move on to something
different.

Dude

August 3rd, 2009
3:22 pm

Vick needs to post gnarly pictures of himself doing tricks on skateboards and BMX bikes on the internet. That’ll win folks back!

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

August 3rd, 2009
3:25 pm

He should go door to door……..and do gnarly tricks

Pepe Frias

August 3rd, 2009
3:30 pm

Vick could teach a microwave cooking class down at the local community center. Or a cake decorating class. That might win some folks back.

midnite

August 3rd, 2009
3:32 pm

I have been asking that question for over a year. He has in no way tried to repair his image. Why no public speaking? Why no book written? Why no 60 Minutes interview or similar?

He has shown no remorse for his crimes and stupidity. If he would have “come clean” at the beginning he would have had a one year suspension from the NFL and probably only probation from Virginia. I don’t think the Feds would have gotten involved either. He has the worst lawyers in the USA, got all his money and he still served two years. Lying is a severe character flaw and shows the lack of a moral foundation.

The ignorance of his chosen gangster lifestyle is beyond comprehension and led to his downfall. What a fool.

mitch

August 3rd, 2009
3:34 pm

Dear Mr. MB–he should learn that appearence is everything, substance nothing and act accordingly. Your pal, Mitch

"Chef" Tim Dix

August 3rd, 2009
3:35 pm

Look people in the eye. Quit saying “um”, licking his lips followed by “knowwhatI’msaying”. In general, act 29 and as a well meaning parent.

Michael

August 3rd, 2009
3:39 pm

You assume Vick can write well. I don’t know if he can or not, but a lot of athletes — and people in general — don’t really need to be on Twitter to win hearts and minds. When you can’t figure out the difference between loose and lose, I’m not really going to be first in line to forgive you of killing a bunch of dogs.

A better way to “repent” would be to do some volunteer work at an animal shelter. As far as football, it’s kind of a joke that no team wants him. Almost any other player convicted of a crime is welcomed back with open arms, usually by his own team. You’ve gotta be kidding me that there are 32 teams perfectly content with their QBs.

FALCONS SORRY

August 3rd, 2009
3:43 pm

MARK BRADLY! MIKE VICK DONT HAVE TO ANSWER TO YOU OR ANY OF YOUR KIND! VICK IS HIS OWN MAN AND HE HAS HIS OWN MIND AND HIS PROFESSIONAL RESUME SPEAKS FOR ITSELF! YOU NEED TO KEEP BRINGING UP HIS NAME TO GET PEOPLE TO READ YOUR ARTICLES AND KEEP YOUR JOB BRADLY SO YOU BETTER RECOGNIZE AND SHOW PROPER RESPECT! HIS RECORD SPEAKS FOR ITSELF WITH ALL THE GOOD HE HAS DONE IN THE COMMUNITY AND HELPING KIDS AND POOR FAMILIES! ALL HE DID WAS MAKE ONE SILLY LITTLE MISTAKE WITH SOME WORTHLESS PIT BULLS THAT NORMALLY NO BODY CARES ABOUT ANYWAY AND YOU ALL WANT TO ACT HOLIER THAN THOU AROUND HIM! HE WILL MAKE MILLIION$$$$ FOR WHICHEVER TEAM IS SMART ENOUGH TO PROCURE HIS SERVICES! YOU CAN NOT REINVENT THE WHEEL THAT WORKS PERFECT SO WHY WOULD ANYBODY THINK THE GREATEST AND MOST EXCITING QUARTERBACK TO EVER STEP ON A FIELD WOULD NEED TO CHANGE ANYTHING! IF IT IS NOT BROKE DONT BREAK IT! HIS HATERS LIKE YOU MARK BRADLY OWNLY HELP MAKE HIM MORE DETERMINED AND ONLY MAKE HIM STRONGER! KEEP YOUR HEAD UP AND DONT LISTEN TO ANY OF THESE PETA LOVING SISSY HATERS LIKE THIS SORRY JOURNALIST MIKE!

IDC

August 3rd, 2009
3:45 pm

Still can’t understand your fascination with all things Vick. He’s no longer a Falcon, doesn’t live in Atlanta and isn’t playing football. That’s about as non-story as you can get.

"Chef" Tim Dix

August 3rd, 2009
3:47 pm

FALCONS SORRY- “OWNLY”, lmao!!! What a tard.

Mort Merkel

August 3rd, 2009
3:50 pm

Falcons Sorry is a troll who no more believes what he writes than a politician believes what he says. Look away.

gordidawg

August 3rd, 2009
3:54 pm

this comment to falcons story….you are not helping his cause!!!!!

Mac

August 3rd, 2009
3:55 pm

She’s right. He’s got to talk sometime. But, if you ever listened to his AirTrain commercials, it sounded like he was reading a script (poorly) with rocks in his mouth. His interviews were not much better. Whatever happened to that speech coach, Reeves wanted to fix him up with?

Ken Stallings

August 3rd, 2009
3:57 pm

PR! PR! PR!

I guess I can understand how people who earn their livings with words resort to PR as the elixr for what ailes you! However, might I suggest something more basic?

How about good behavior!

Say, we expect Mike Vick to go a full year with his nose clean — not a spot of trouble, intrigue, or rebuke. He achieves one full year upon the planet as a model citizen. Then, we can start seeing something.

After that first year we can evaluate anew his worth as a football player.

I’m not a member of PETA, and frankly I think many in PETA have become rather extreme. However, what Vick and Co. did was truly reprehensibly cruel and bitter. That doesn’t go away in a pony show of PR. It takes more than remorse. It takes reformation. And the only logical manner to evaluate reformation is through a lack of recidivism.

As one says, “The ball is in your court, Michael!”

MarkSilverstein

August 3rd, 2009
3:59 pm

Mike Vick should first wipe the smirk off his face and learn to smile. Vick feels the NFL owes him a job. Fame and fortune came too quick for Vick and now Vick doesnt know how to recapture it. Vick should sprint into the media rooms, grab a microphone and tell the world JUST HOW SORRY HE IS FOR MAKING A FOOL OF HIMSELF. That would go a long way in restoring his standing in the community and in the nfl.

Larvell Blanks

August 3rd, 2009
3:59 pm

Good one, Pepe.

Glenn

August 3rd, 2009
4:06 pm

The best thing Michael Vick can do is not say a word . Those Airtran radio commercials made him sound like such an idiot . So fine , let him Twitter . Twitter & let his lawyers speak for him . He just doesn’t need to say anything unless absolutely necessary .

matt r

August 3rd, 2009
4:10 pm

“She’s also a leading exponent of social media”… I always thought 2 (maybe 3?) was a leading exponent of x.

mitch

August 3rd, 2009
4:15 pm

Dear Mr. MB–as far as appearence is concerned, he should always walk real slow in a self-absorbed saunter, and he should gaze at things far off in the distance, never at things nearby. When someone speaks to him, he should give a brief reply without a glance. He should say, “Absolutely,” every chance he gets. He should seldom smile, and he should wear his shades on top of his head. He should not scratch or spit. Your pal, Mitch

Dawg Foot

August 3rd, 2009
4:18 pm

Do you think Vick knows how to use a computer? Come on now.

Mark Bradley

August 3rd, 2009
4:22 pm

Mitch, are we talking about Michael Vick or Clint Eastwood?

All I'm Saying Is...

August 3rd, 2009
4:22 pm

Buried in step #3 is the First thing he needs to do: “He must admit to his insensitive, cruel crime and connect with people, many of whom are pet lovers.” I would suggest he do this on either one major talk show (Oprah or Larry King) or via giving one major lengthy interview (60 Minutes) where he owns up to his many errors and bad decisions, say he has payed for his crimes, and is seeking to earn redemption not for himself but for his family’s sake. Major problem is the fact that the dude is not the most eloquent lad nor the brightest bulb in the box.

Max61

August 3rd, 2009
4:24 pm

…………As one goes around the net to different newspaper web sites, you see a unique personality for each area of the US……Mark, the posters in this area are something else………The Vick supporters seem to spend all their time attacking the journalist…….Never discussing all that is wrong with Michael Vick……An example would be your poster, Falcons Sorry………..Jeff Schultz seems to spend all his time shutting down his web site due to foul mouthed posters……Everything Vick does is only what his attorney has told him to do……Every attorney makes an assessment of his client at the beginning, and decides if that client should ever get on the stand and talk…………..Vick is one of those clients who should never speak……….He is not mentally capable to come across as anything but a PR show……His attorney knowes this…..That is why he has kept Vick from talking………The re-instatement of Vick was wrong……..I hope no team takes him…..ever

bali smith

August 3rd, 2009
4:34 pm

I am old school how do you tweet

Larvell Blanks

August 3rd, 2009
4:39 pm

Max61 seems intelligent enough to realize Falcons Sorry is a put-own, who writes that stuff just to get a rise out of folks. Guess not.

Larvell Blanks

August 3rd, 2009
4:39 pm

mitch

August 3rd, 2009
4:57 pm

Dear Mr. MB–but he still has a problem, viz., he needs to stay out of trouble, and to do that he needs to stay occupied. I suggest he take as a project how many of those paired pictures at the bottom of the web sports pages asking whether the viewer can identify the difference between them. Working under a self imposed honor system, he could call in his answer to the AJC sports web site daily, and a monthly target could be set as a goal. Shortly, the whole world would be rooting for him, and the whole world would be transformed. Your pal, Mitch

Hercule Poirot

August 3rd, 2009
5:00 pm

Why did Leland become Mitch?

Dennis

August 3rd, 2009
5:02 pm

Jeez-Louise!!!

Didn’t training camp just open? If you couldn’t find anything to write about **the Atlanta Falcons**, I’d suggest you get away from your desk and check out what’s happening.

Enough on that guy already!

FALCONS SORRY

August 3rd, 2009
5:26 pm

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wink

August 3rd, 2009
5:42 pm

Yeah that makes a lot of sense, yeah Mike tweet to us!

1. He must talk to his public/fans.
First, Mike was under a gag order by the courts. Now he is no longer has to refrain from talking, but while he has done 23 months or more of not talking, then he should continue to operate under the gag order, self imposed of course…there was a reason the courts imposed it,so that should still be good for the public.

2. He must show he’s human — social media…yeah that will show them. Mike tell us what you doing right now…wait I know the answer…”I trying to get a job”. That alone would generate a media ground swell for twisting every tweeted word for their own purposes. As is people are making things up, so why add fuel to the fire.

3.PSAs (public service announcements) for the Humane Society or ASPCA…you did not mention PETA. Really, Mike is their poster boy, just wait until he gets a job with a team PETA will be right there. He could not possibly do enough PSA to break that bond, with Vick, there is no PETA. I not heard much from them, unless Vick name surfaces in the same forum. Why don’t we do a PSA on enthunasia…that’s not very humane to me, but happens everyday…dog, cats are put to death.

4….being with innocent people will go a long way toward restoring his image. Really, how would he know who’s innocent. Should he run a background screen on every person he encounters. Should he get a job, when approached by media, would they all be innocent. Blanks is a prudent man, he gave Vick $130 million dollars. Seems to me every man is innocent until proven guilty. Once proven guilty, you always guilty it seems, after doing 23 months, there still is no redemption for Vick. Maybe he should have commited a more human crime, instead of animal cruelty. The penalty has proven to be far greater animal cruelty than crimes others have commited against humanity.

There’s really nothing Mike can talk about that the court of public opinion would not crucify him for.

Leave the man alone…if get a job fine and if he does not fine…he not the first to be called felon, file for bankruptcy, knock from his pedestal, or lose a lot of money…leave the man alone media (social network).

THE TRUTH HURTS

August 3rd, 2009
5:59 pm

How lame , Mark Bradley. After time off I would expect a little more effort. As is evidenced by the interest in Vick’ services, NO ONE GIVES A TWEET about Michael Vick

Ken Stallings

August 3rd, 2009
6:11 pm

Wink, interesting perspectives. Mostly logical. Though once again, someone desires to put up a belief Vick’s crime harm him worse. Lacks logic!

I can guarantee that electrocuting to death a single person, much less dozens of them, would practically guarantee a man’s future in the NFL would rank the least of his problems!

That Vick served merely two years or so in jail and might one day ply his optimal trade again, speaks directly to the reality (fact that is) that crimes against animals are judged vastly less than crimes against humanity.

Fine, logical! But let’s at least, as rational humans, try not again to put forward a falsehood. Vick was judged precisely in accordance with law. No less or no more was his fate. And once a convicted criminal, getting rehired by your former employer is a difficult prospect.

I think there’s a middle ground here between fools who want perpetual prosecution and fools who believe nothing significant took place. Something very cruel and criminal did take place — one more among many past for Mike Vick. The man’s had many chances, likely several more than any normal human would have received.

I don’t worship this man and frankly couldn’t care less he’s a football player. I’d rather he keep his mouth shut, honestly and humbly recognize the many undeserved multiple chances mere talent on a field provided for him, and endeavor to clean up his act!

If he manages to do that, then I’ll respect him. But not a bit more than I would any man or woman who’s chosen to live a moral life. I don’t give a damn if he throws another TD pass again. I’ll just gladly settle for living within the law!

mitch

August 3rd, 2009
6:11 pm

Mr. H. Poirot–only the shadow knows. But if you see Ms Marple, tell her she is always in my heart. Your pal, Mitch

DHD

August 3rd, 2009
8:08 pm

Another Vick article. That’s 2 for today. It used to be one a day, but now we’re getting more than that. We’re getting more Vick articles than Biden gems. HEY GUYS: Vick does not play here. Get over your man crush, would you?

jeffrey d

August 3rd, 2009
8:10 pm

Who’s that Bill Goldberg looking guy who’s always behind Vick in these pictures?

Mark Bradley

August 3rd, 2009
8:46 pm

I believe that is indeed Bill Goldberg.

Actually, it isn’t. It’s a marshal at the federal courthouse in Richmond, Va., who had his picture taken by a million photographers the days Vick appeared in court.

Steve

August 3rd, 2009
9:35 pm

So this thugs does what he did and they want to have a “celebration” for him in Virginia? What a country. Hopefully he never gets to play again or if he does, he is terrible. Pretty funny how so many people act like he was the greatest QB ever. He was far from that! Matt Ryan all the way!

chemdawg

August 3rd, 2009
9:42 pm

wait, vick was arrested!?

tim

August 3rd, 2009
10:11 pm

I think that FALCONS SORRY is actually Mike Vick.

Ted Striker

August 3rd, 2009
10:20 pm

Maybe I set the bar lower than most but Vick doesn’t need to do anything for me — except keep on the right side of the law.

Mark Bradley

August 3rd, 2009
10:25 pm

Where you been, Ted? Out brainstormin’?

jen

August 3rd, 2009
10:31 pm

Mark Bradley,

Are you kidding? Social media? Please. I’m starting to wonder who is the biggest twit, you or Vick?

Russell

August 3rd, 2009
10:52 pm

Many broke the law. Man served prison time. Man owes nobody anything. If prison means nothing, then why send him there?

BOB

August 3rd, 2009
11:02 pm

Vick is a loser if you ask me i don’t care what he does he’s already made the impression of being a git!!!

Is it true???

August 3rd, 2009
11:03 pm

That only the ignorant post in ALL CAPS?