The PR Perspective on ...

Lance Armstrong

By now, everyone and his dry cleaner has weighed in on how Lance “performed” during his first interview with Oprah.


My dry cleaner knows I’m in the communication business (must be the Façonnable shirts) and asked for my viewpoint on how Lance came across in the interview.

My scientific answer in three words —

Not so good.

I say that after reflecting on the interview in its entirety.

It’s not one single thing. Instead, it’s my impression after listening to rationalization after rationalization as well as watching the body language.

He did not utter the words “I’m sorry,” but I suspect that will come in the second interview tonight. Team Oprah wanted to end the first interview with a “cliff hanger.” Will he or won’t he say “I’m sorry?” Tune in tomorrow to find out.

That’s show biz.

Personally, I won’t be tuning in tomorrow.

As my wife so eloquently put it, “Why the hell are you watching this? It’s boring.”

It was that.

Team Oprah did its best to bring entertainment values to the production, splicing in video vignettes from Lance’s past. It didn’t work.

On the other side of the equation, Oprah was superb. Who said she would be a cupcake interview? Oh right, that was me.

It seems counter intuitive to kick off an interview with “yes” or “no” questions. What’s interesting about a one-word answer? You want the person under the hot lights to be expansive and allow the audience into his mind.

Yet, the technique built the only drama that came from the session and shrewdly left Lance with no room to navigate the questions, which included, “Did you dope?”

I watched the Frost/Nixon movie on late night cable last weekend and wonder if Oprah took away inspiration from the film.

So where does this leave us?

As is often the case, with an over-hyped event that will soon disappear into the woodwork as the reality of the real Lance saga plays out at the speed of an IV-drip in the coming years.

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