Michael Vick’s Winning PR Strategy: Redemption By Work Ethic

vick_8-16Michael Vick appeared in the first segment of CBS’ 60 Minutes last night in a lengthy interview with James Brown (A CBS Sports, but not 60 Minutes contributor).

As Brown reported in the piece, Vick is working with “a group of attorneys, agents and media advisers,” and he said a lot of the “right” things in the CBS interview – unsurprising admissions of shame and a new appreciation for animals. But there was something else in the segment, that sounds like it will be a PR push: change the topic to work ethic.

The unexceptional quotes: “When I was in prison, I was disgusted, you know, because of what I let happen to those animals,” and “I care about animals” and the proverbial ‘money shot’ for his advisers, “I blame me.”

But then Brown talked about Vick’s reputation as a player – which apparently was pretty poor. He asked Vick about this directly. “I was lazy,” he said. “Last guy in the building, first guy out. I know that, I hear everything people say. And that hurt me when I heard that, but I knew it was true.”

The story of Vick going from animal killer to animal lover is boring and predictable. Did we think he might leave jail after two years and look for a puppy to strangle?

But a storyline Vick’s PR team will happily embrace is the idea the star QB can be a reformed hard worker. And it’s not just a part of the 60 Minutes interview – it’s already been written about since he joined the Philadelphia Eagles late last week. In a story about Vick’s first day of practice on Saturday, Alex Marvez comments on how it went. “Vick’s work ethic also impressed,” Marvez wrote. “He and reserve quarterback Adam DiMichele were the last players to leave the practice field on a sweltering afternoon.”

This is a winning strategy – and we’re likely to hear more of this as Vick continues this solidly successful media push.

Here’s the full CBS interview:

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