Questionable PR

by on Sep.29, 2009, under Sports

The topic:

A study commissioned by the National Football League reports that Alzheimer’s disease or similar memory-related diseases appear to have been diagnosed in the league’s former players vastly more often than in the national population — including a rate of 19 times the normal rate for men ages 30 through 49.

The PR:

An N.F.L. spokesman, Greg Aiello, said in an e-mail message that the study did not formally diagnose dementia, that it was subject to shortcomings of telephone surveys and that “there are thousands of retired players who do not have memory problems.”

“Memory disorders affect many people who never played football or other sports,” Mr. Aiello said. “We are trying to understand it as it relates to our retired players.”

Jeez. “We are very concerned about the findings of this study. Our scientific and medical advisors are reviewing them carefully to determine what steps we need to take to ensure our players’ safety.”

Is that so hard? It still doesn’t commit to a damn thing.


3 Comments for this entry

  • Josh K-sky

    Well, it makes it hard to do nothing. After all, if it’s a flawed survey, or a bogus result, why express concerns? The defensive first statement is lame (not to mention innumerate), but I wouldn’t advise a client to have his first response be “we are very concerned.”

  • Joshua Malbin

    Well, sure, but you get what I mean, right? You say something about how you’re looking into it carefully and stop with the really sad attempts to deflect.

  • Josh K-sky

    Yes. “We are trying to understand it as it relates to our retired players” is fine. Nothing else is.

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