The Philadelphia sports scene has been buzzing since the announcement was made that Michael Vick, a former Atlanta Falcons player, would be a new quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles this season. Reactions to this news varied greatly among fans throughout Philadelphia. Vick, a very talented quarterback who could bring success to the Eagles, was convicted of leading a dog fighting ring and sentenced to 23 months in prison. He served only 18 of those 23 months and ended up right here in Philadelphia upon his release.
An unforgiving media has been chronicling every move that Vick has made since the weeks leading up to his Philadelphia debut, and his actions in the next few months will make or break his image to Eagles fans. Luckily for him the public can be very forgiving and can learn to look past his bad behavior, but only if he plays his cards right. Since this is Vick’s only infraction it will be easier for him to win over the public’s approval again. His performance off the field will be just as important as his performance on the field in the upcoming weeks. He must show the public that he is a changed man, apologizing for his actions and advocating for the end of animal cruelty across Philadelphia.
A luke-warm effort will not be enough to change public opinion about him. He will have to work hard attending charity events, volunteering for community service and speaking out against animal cruelty in neighborhoods across the city. As a senior public relations student at Temple it will be very interesting to see what PR tactics that Vick’s team employs in an attempt to fix his image. Over the next few months a case-study in effective or ineffective PR will emerge for students like me, and I hope for his sake, and the sake of the Eagles, that it is effective.