Flipping The Tables

It’s not uncommon to hear complaints from companies after a prerecorded television interview airs. A company representative might be interviewed for up to an hour, but ultimately a couple of minutes airs and the rest of the footage ends up on the cutting room floor. The ensuing accusation goes along the lines that footage that aired is not a fair reflection of the overall interview, with the producers picking and choosing segments to make the interviewee come out in the worst light.

This is a similar complaint that the Ultimate Fighting Championship made after an ESPN feature on fighter pay aired recently. The UFC took an interesting position when responding to the piece. They had also recorded the full interview and retaliated by posting it online. The move reflects the company’s overall slick PR machine and leverages the UFC’s huge online audience.

I’ve embedded the full video response below, but I’ve also included a clip immediately underneath which shows how well prepared UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta was for the interview. Fertitta flips the tables on the interviewer by pointing out how little some fighters on ESPN boxing bouts make, completely undermining their ‘expose’ on fighter pay.

Loreno Fertitta flips the tables on ESPN

Full UFC Response

From an issues management perspective, the incident follows a trend of organizations using the Internet as an unfiltered platform to respond to negative coverage, without the restriction of column inches or the length of the show.

Hats off to some slick PR by the UFC.

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Piaras Kelly
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