Tag: Sylvester Stallone

No Comment

As an experienced PR person (I feel one year on the job and a 5 year degree makes me an “expert”) there’s one piece of wisdom I’d like to pass on to anyone out there who has anything to do with the media. NEVER*, NEVER**, ever say “no comment.” It’s poor media management, it takes away an opportunity to express your point of view in the public sphere and it just makes you look guilty. Don’t do it. Ever. Someone should pass this advice on to Sylvester Stallone and his management company. He copped a hiding in the media after he was busted trying to import 48 vials of illegal “stay young and fit” growth hormones on a promotional visit to Australia – eager to avoid uncomfortable questions in the future the Stallone camp has banned Australian journalists from attending his press conferences. The ultimate “no comment” – as a result every major Australian newspaper ran a story about his poor sportsmanship and recalcitrance. The rules for dealing with the media are (for those of you planning on ever being in front of a camera, or talking to a journalist).

1. Figure out your key message and stick to is – say nothing else if need be, all the reporter is looking for is a quote to write a story around – if you only say one thing that’s the only thing they’ll quote.
2. Never say no comment – if you don’t want to comment come up with a standard line explaining you won’t comment at this point as you’re waiting for more information – by the time that information comes the story should be well and truly out of the news cycle.
3. Don’t lie to the journalist.
4. Don’t try to unsay something you’ve said – that puts a big flashing neon sign over the statement – corrections are ok, flat out denials not so good.
5. Don’t get angry with what’s said. K-Rudd apparently needs to learn this one – what’s printed is printed, you can’t unprint something. Nor should you try to put pressure on a journalist – that breeds contempt and that’s bad. K-Rudd is looking into his media management strategy.
6. Don’t crack wise with journalists – if you say something that can potentially be taken out of context it probably will be. Only say what you want to be quoted.

Funnily enough, I started writing this entry yesterday just before I had to say “no comment” to a journalist – although he was a uni student trying to break a story we didn’t want broken so I’m not overly concerned about the far reaching implications of that – and I didn’t “no comment” him – I just didn’t return his calls.

*capitalised to indicate importance.
**repeated to indicate importance.

War of words

I have a confession – I’m a closet boxing fan. Not a fan of boxing within the confines of a closet – although I’d probably watch that – but a fan of the corrupt world of professional boxing. My love for all things pugilistic was inspired by the Power of One – the third most influential book I’ve read behind the Bible, and the Godfather (how I reconcile the influence of those three somewhat disparate books is a mystery even to me). I like boxing – the way the blood and sweat fly off a man’s face when a bruising right hook lands… it appeals to my inner caveman. So it is with great joy that I read today that two of my former league heroes – Solomon Haumono and John Hopoate, Manly’s Tongan bash brothers from the mid 90s – are considering a heavyweight clash of the titans. There’s something romantic about two lifelong friends (who celebrate Christmas together) jumping in the squared circle (ring) and trying to beat the daylights out of one another hoping to emerge as friends. That for me is what boxing is all about – that and the constant sledging, gambling, corruption, fixed bouts, flamboyant promoters, David and Goliath battles, and rags to riches “I trained in a shed with just a canvas bag dreaming of this day” storylines that go with boxing like things that go together really well (my similes today are suffering from an inability to form corroborative nouns).

If this bout does eventually go ahead my concerns are with the less syllablically endowed John Hopoate – largely due to a new theory I’m formulating linking boxing success with the number of syllables in a boxer’s name. Think about it – As Cassius Clay (4 syllables) Muhammad Ali (5 syllables) was a shadow of his future self. But the theory doesn’t stop there – I’m yet to conduct extensive research but my early studies show that the top 15 WBA Heavyweight boxers have an average of 5 syllables between them (First and Surname only – WBA Heavyweight champion Nikolai Vladimirovich Valuev would be unbeatable otherwise – the fact that he’s 7 feet tall and weighs 150kg is not a factor). Unless John Hopoate (5 syllables) starts billing himself as Jonathan Hopoate (7 syllables) he’s in trouble against Solomon Haumono (6 syllables). Here’s my WBA evidence…

World Title Holder – NICOLAY VALUEV – (Ni-col-ay Val-u-ev) – 6 syllables
1. RUSLAN CHAGAEV – (Rus-lan Cha-ga-ev) – 5 Syllables
2. RAY AUSTIN – 3 syllables
3. SULTAN IBRAGIMOV – (Sul-tan ib-ra-gi-mov) – 6 Syllables
4. SERGUEI LIAKHOVICH – (Ser-gui Li-ak-hov-ich) 6 syllables
5. DAVARYLL WILLIAMSON – (Dav-ar-yll Will-iam-son) 6 Syllables
6. JOHN RUIZ – 3 syllables
7. WLADIMIR VIRCHIS – (Wlad-i-mir Vir-chis) 5 Syllables
8. MIKE MOLLO 3 Syllables
9. HASIM RAHMAN 4 Syllables
10. TARAS BIDENKO – (Tar-as Bid-en-ko) 5 syllables
11. ALEXANDER DIMITRENKO – (Al-ex–an-der Di-mit-ren-ko) 8 Syllables
12. LAMON BREWSTER – 4 Syllables
13. KALI MEEHAN 4 Syllables
14. JEAN-FRANCOIS BERGERON (Jean Fran-cois Ber-ger-on) – 6 Syllables
15. EVANDER HOLYFIELD (E-van-der Ho-ly-field) 6 Syllables

The average number of syllables is 5 – the average for the top 5 boxers is 5.2 – pretty convincing evidence if you ask me – but you didn’t… Even fictional boxers have the edge over their lesser nominally endowed rivals – Rocky Balboa (5 syllables) fought the following – ignoring the Rocky Balboa comeback fight with Mason Dixon (4 syllables):

Spider Rico (4 Syllables)
Apollo Creed (4 Syllables)
Thunderlips (3 Syllables – Hulk Hogan – 3 syllables)
Clubber Lang (3 syllables)
Ivan Drago (4 syllables)
Tommy Gunn (3 syllables)

So there you have it – compelling evidence methinks… But remember – when a TV show tells you “don’t try this at home” they mean it.