Tony Romo's interceptions were contagious on MNFI watched the Dallas Cowboys absolutely melt down against the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football. I might be a Denver Broncos fan, but I still tune into the Cowboys’ games as a by-product of growing up in Texas. Being a Broncos fan, I especially looked forward to this game because I’ve grown accustomed to Jay Cutler doing the meltdowns. I also keep thinking that Tony Romo is a better quarterback than his critics will lead you to believe. Side Note: I think Dez Bryant’s poor focus and lack of discipline led to some of Romo’s issues in this game…but I digress.

Tony Romo threw 5 interceptions in this game. It is ironic that he prompted a similar post from me, over a year ago, called Social Media and the NFL – Good Numbers + Bad Decisions = Loss. In that earlier post, I drew the parallel with great company brands that lost credibility due to their missteps in social media and public relations. Well, these types of mistakes can be “contagious” – one mistake leads to another. Mistakes can lead to panic, or we can try to “make up for that mistake” by pressing too hard to succeed…which just leads to more mistakes as we forego our fundamentals. Romo threw 5 interceptions last weekend, but he wasn’t the only one to catch Interception-itis: Ryan Fitzpatrick (Bills) threw 4 INTs and both Matt Cassel (Chiefs) and Russell Wilson (Seahawks) threw 3 INTs.

All four quarterbacks have one more thing in common – they lost last weekend!!

Here is a great infographic from MDG Advertising that identifies a few celebrities and brands who recently committed social media faux pas – and then exacerbated their situations by digging deeper holes with subsequent defensive/antagonistic comments or by deleting the original content without explanation or reconciliation. They got the public relations equivalent of Interception-itis!

Infographic by MDG Advertising

You owe your team – your company and/or your personal brand – your best efforts in brand protection. Just like an NFL quarterback needs to read the defense downfield, and throw an accurate ball without forcing it into tight coverage, you should read the public reactions to your company brand. Then respond with honesty and an extreme focus on customer service. Those may be the only two behaviors that will help you escape a public relations crisis without looking like a (Representative) Weiner…or a bad NFL quarterback!

Sometimes, you may not even be aware that your brand has come under attack. Request a demonstration of Pulse Analytics for social media monitoring and sentiment analysis. Just like a quarterback looks at defensive charts on the sidelines, to spot tendencies, Pulse Analytics can help you spot tendencies and trends around both your brand and your competitors’ brands. And that kind of actionable intelligence will lead to scores for your company!