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I'm just Here So I Don't Get FinedYesterday, at HMA headquarters, the topic of Marshawn Lynch and his “no response” to the media came up in conversation.  Now, most people that know me, understand that at this point I typically check-out of the conversation, as I do not have a lot of interest in sports, unless it is tennis-related (or as a mini shout-out to my USTA mixed double team- congrats on making the finals and good luck tonight).

So, imagine the surprise of the office when I decided to chime in! #StopTheClock #WhyIsRachelEvenTryingToJoinThisConversation

And to be honest, taking previous advice from Abbie (you only have to know one piece of information to sound smart and get the conversation started), the only reason I knew anything about the topic (and no I couldn’t remember his name and I had no clue what team he played for) was because I had briefly heard the segment on KTAR on my drive into work and I had thought it was funny.

So, during the conversation, I asked the question– if you were his PR person what advice would you give? Going back to the media trainings that Abbie and I have done in the past, we always advise that our clients give a response, even if it is just repeating your key messages, but you should have a response. And, I suppose in a way, Lynch’s responses are a response, it is just not the type of response we have in mind when giving advice during a media training. A great example of those messages are what you typically hear from any athlete.  In fact, Abbie was quoted in article last year around this time on exactly that. Remember the movie Bull Durham? “I'm just happy to be here. Hope I can help the ball club.”  Perhaps Lynch needs to watch Bull Durham and take a PR 101 course?

For this blog I asked Abbie and our PRGN colleague from Seattle, Aaron Blank, two people who I suspected would have conflicting opinions on the matter and this is what they had to say:

Abbie’s advice would be: Marshawn, I know receiving the fines isn’t going to change your mind about wanting to talk to reporters.  The more you refuse, the more they want to talk to you or about you.  Is there something you would be willing to talk about?  How about the community outreach programs we support?  We have to find a happy medium here.  Interviews are part of the game; you are a team representative and need to be available.  Let’s make this happen.

Aaron’s advice would be: Keep it up, Marshawn. Your brand power is growing every day as is evident by your recent corporate deals with Skittles and Progressive!

Conflicting piece of advice? Yes- but what PR advice would you give to Mr. Lynch?

Rachel Brockway
Rachel Brockway
Senior Account Executive Rachel is a native Arizonian, who enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, playing tennis, reading and social media. She’s a busy mom and is passing the idea of volunteerism onto her son. Check out Rachel's Full Bio


  1. Alison Bailin says:

    I am 100% with Aaron on this. Lynch’s teammate, Richard Sherman, is making his brand by talking too much, so it is a perfect juxtaposition for Lynch to talk too little. Brilliant branding – and it is paying off in SPADES for both of them. Plus, if you watched football, then you would see that when Lynch goes BEASTMODE, he says all he needs to “say” on the field. And then some!

    Another side: Because I am not African-American, I can’t begin to speak to this. But, you might be interested in what Rodney Harrison had to say about Lynch and his attitude: http://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/01/rodney-harrison-marshawn-lynch-wasting-opportunity-to-have-a-voice

  2. David Landis says:

    I’m 100% with Abbie on this one (sorry, Aaron). It all depends on your goals. If Marshawn wants to help his Foundation, he should be talking about it. Considering he’s from Oakland (right across the SF Bay from us at LCI), he could be helping A LOT more people by talking about his Foundation – and in the process, soliciting much needed donor dollars for a great cause. Cheers, David

  3. Aaron Blank says:

    Marshawn may retire next season. This may be the ultimate setup. He has his own clothing line and a pop-store featuring his brand(clothes, hats) near the super Bowl stadium. He has the #1 jersey in the country. People are talking about his philanthropic work in Oakland. He has endorsement deals with Skittles and Progressive to start. His Conan skit with Gronk is one of the most viral hits online today. Tell me: is silence a good thing?!

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