The big news in Ann Arbor and in the hearts of Michigan football fans everywhere this week was the search for a new head football coach. The media world had been abuzz since Michigan’s athletic director, David Brandon, announced the firing of former coach Rich Rodriguez on January 5th. From the beginning of the circus, which actually started on January 4th when some media outlets reported that the Rodriguez firing had actually already happened, only to be refuted by Brandon, all the way through the announcement of the hiring of Brandy Hoke exactly one week later, one thing rang clear: Brandon, the former chairman and CEO of Domino’s Pizza, is a pro in knowing how to dance with the media.
In all seriousness, he followed the Media Relations 101 book to a tee. First, he made himself available. It seemed everywhere I turned, he was being interviewed by someone, somewhere. Second, he crafted the message he wanted to convey and kept it consistent. In a nutshell, it was that while he understood the urgency of the situation, he also understood the importance of the decision and, as a result, was going to take his time to ensure that he was making the right one. Third, when the decision to hire Hoke was final and Brandon made the announcement, he left no doubt that he knew he had done just that.
Now, all of us Maize and Blue faithful can only hope he’s right!