Last night the San Diego Chargers violated a fundamental rule of public relations: Don't anger your customers. Thousands of companies have learned that lesson the hard way by making a product change, not making a product change or issuing statements that inflame an already sensitive situation.
That's why it's so puzzling that San Diego's public relations director, Bill Johnston, would tell the fans to "take a chill pill" via a release on the team's official website.
Maybe the Chargers don't care, because the Chargers are still assured of their slice of the NFL's massive television revenue. Maybe the current regime knows it has a foot out the door and would rather tell its fans to take a chill pill. Who knows the motivations, but PR people have been fired for lesser offenses.
What's humorous about this is that Johnston is probably right: The Chargers have 10 games left to play, and last week's loss was just one of 16. Here's the problem, though: The Chargers shouldn't be the ones telling the fans to relax.
There's nothing wrong with pointing out the obvious facts like Johnston did, but calling out the media that covers the team and the fans for their opinions is just the wrong way to approach a sensitive situation.
Incidents like this suggest that there is dysfunction within the organization, and the problems with the team go deeper than just the play of the football team. Of course, the Chargers don't care. The Spanos family is still laughing all the way to the bank.
The Chargers are treating their fans like garbage. This is an organization that brought back a wildly unpopular general manager and head coach, didn't take advantage of the NFL's relaxed blackout policy and is now telling the fans to take a chill pill.
It's like buying an average product from an exclusive store and the store telling you not to complain when something breaks. Who do the Chargers think they are, Apple?
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