Touchdown! The Chicago Bears Don’t Have a “Public Relations” Problem

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

Yes, they lost again today. But the final score and outcome on the field did not culminate in the embarrassments of the past several weeks.

Now that the shouting is over for today, Chicago’s sports pundits better refrain from attaching “public relations” anywhere to print or digital coverage of the contest defeat.


How will the proud franchise survive this bout of “bad PR?”

I’m referring to, the Chicago Bears, our beleaguered professional football franchise — one with a long, storied and proud history.

Earlier today, the Bears lost to the playoff-bound Detroit Lions 20-14 during a somewhat entertaining contest at Soldier Field. The game, which I watched between important stuff like housekeeping chores, was close until the 4th Quarter when the Lions pulled ahead for good.

This scenario — hard-fought contests punctuated by gutsy play and good coaching — has not played out much during the 2015 season. The Bears have drastically underachieved, as evidenced by the team’s 5-10 record and last-place standing in the NFC North Division.

Local and national sports writers and talk show blabbers deservedly

Yes, I wonder what they're thinking about each other, too.

Yes, I wonder what they’re thinking about each other, too.

have blasted the Bears organization from the front office to the Gatorade guy.  (Kidding about the Gatorade comment.)

Plus, there’s a few other issues that have put a mammoth damper on the 2014 campaign: An often sullen (now benched) franchise quarterback with a $120 million contract who leads the league in turnovers; a clueless head coach who claims the team holds “good practices” but can’t explain why they continue to lose; not very special special teams; and a bellyaching offensive coordinator caught blasting said quarterback behind his back.

This dismal record and off-field performance, according to some in the media, translates to “bad PR” for the Chicago Bears. In print sports articles, I’ve read about the Bears’ “public relations nightmare” and media briefings that yielded a negative “public relations moment.”

Note to my media brethren: Here’s why the Bears are getting “bad PR” in 2014:

  • Outplayed on offense, defense and special teams.
  • Out-coached on most aspects of the game.
  • Ineffective, indecisive ownership.

In professional sports, in the business world and in the public sector, poor performance or scandal many times gets equated with the practice of public relations.

Rest assured, the Bears public relations staff — at least to my knowledge — has nothing to do with Jay Cutler‘s interception numbers, Marc Trestman‘s coaching decisions, the penalty-prone special teams squad or Aaron Kromer‘s commentary blunder.

In its essence, public relations is about building relationships. It has nothing to do with winning football games.