Michael Phelps may have taken the most gold for the U.S. Olympic team, but it was Ryan Lochte who earned the most media coverage over the Olympic news cycle. His new media rating high of 94 earned him nearly $62 million in media value, comprising nearly all of his media value for the trailing 12 months.
Ideally, of course, you want your ratings advance to be driven by positive, image-enhancing coverage. In the case of Lochte, the media spotlight shone on his insulting the Olympic host nation, claiming he was robbed at gunpoint by local police when in fact he and his drunken teammates were vandalizing private property. Negative media sentiment ramped up to 22% (compared with Phelps’s 0%). As a consequence, Lochte lost all of his major endorsement deals, including those from Speedo USA and Ralph Lauren.
Queue the crisis management team! Lochte’s reputation trust, which includes Creative Artists Agency and PR consultancy Hiltzik Strategies, has begun the rehabilitation process. While not all PR is good PR, well-managed “bad” PR can catapult your brand to new heights.
Here’s the takeaway for those in the Lochte orbit: The Olympic swimmer’s media visibility is 45 points ahead of its 4-year average! The art lies in capitalizing and co-opting the heightened media attention towards positive story lines. Queue Dancing with the Stars! Lochte helping rescue kittens! The science comes in proactive PR measurement: establishing media visibility baselines and tracking and managing change dynamics from there. Queue mediaQuant!