clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Advice for Carmelo Anthony's personal brand from me, a freelance public relations hobbyist

Jacopo Raule/Getty Images

Hi Melo, it's Seth. Seth R. Listen, I know I'm in no position to give you PR advice. You are older, richer, taller, and probably smarter and better at parallel parking than I am. And you pay people to do this kind of stuff for you, and those people aren't me.

But as a member of the public -- someone who only feels your presence through various devices with screens -- I gotta say you're not coming off well right now. This happens kinda often with you! Someone -- with or without your consent, I have no idea -- tells reporters you feel a certain way. Those reporters are then compelled to interpret and broadcast the message that reaches the fanbase and the team itself.

So hey, just this once, just for this little kerfuffle following draft night, I have some suggestions for how things should have been handled, and should be handled next time:

If you like or do not have strong feelings about what the Knicks did:

Tweet! Instagram! Tell your friends and associates! Say you're happy. Do it the night of the draft, or the day after, or whenever, though ideally this comes *before* people start reporting that you're grouchy. Make it clear, too! Use proper nouns. Limit hashtags.

Or -- and this is an equally great alternative -- say nothing! No one requires or even expects you to say anything publicly.

If you hate what the Knicks did:

That sucks! Sorry about that. I can see why you would want to tell your friends and associates about that. Maaaaaybe make sure they're not going to relay what you said to reporters. Deeeeefinitely don't *encourage* them to do that and let those reporters dictate your feelings for you.

If you're just disappointed and don't feel like you want to change your situation, maybe don't say anything. Maybe just talk to Phil Jackson and Steve Mills and tell them how you feel. Don't be surprised if they nod and smile and do nothing, because while you're really good at basketball and really important to the team, you're not so great that you deserve a vote in the front office. And this front office might not feel obliged to grant you one.

If you're so upset the Knicks drafted a tall guy and got rid of one of the NBA's least productive rotation players that you feel changes must be made, definitely go to Jackson and Mills. They can get to work negotiating a trade -- and to any team you desire! And I think if there's going to be any change as a result of negative feelings from your end, that's gonna be it. I hope and suspect Phil and Steve agree with me: you're great, but if you're deeply uncomfortable with the way the team is changing, then you're the one who must go.

If reporters are saying you hate what the Knicks did, but you don't feel that way and never said that:

Deny it, clearly and forcibly. Say whoever they heard that from is full of shit and trying to tear down your reputation (because that is the effect, if that wasn't clear already).

Or do nothing! It'll blow over.

What not to do in any of the above scenarios:

As an unlicensed PR maven, I strongly advise against:

1. Telling someone you don't like the Knicks' moves, then letting that person tell Frank Isola and Stephen A. Smith, and eventually every other person in New York who owns a laptop, that you feel that way.

2. Having your team of social media digital brand content management curators follow negative reports (whether or not number 1 actually happened) with a series of cryptic tweets containing douchebag-back-tattoo quotes and insufferable boutique hashtags.

3. Using Instagram replies to express pleasure with the Knicks draft, or to personally battle random fans in your mentions.

The above things make almost all fans -- and probably your own coworkers -- think less of you. Maybe you don't care about your reputation! That's fine and reasonable. We don't actually matter. But if you do care at all about relating to the public, I hope you understand that you and the people around you are doing a bad job of it. If you're happy, it doesn't seem that way. If you're not, this is the worst way to make that known. H.A.G.S.