Thursday, December 22, 2005

What Really Matters

I'm not a big fan of the New York Yankees, but I'll give them props for one thing: treating their employees right.

I'm sure there are people within the Yankee organization who will say bad things about their bosses, but let's just look at this from the PR perspective. The big news out of the New York (and Boston) sports scene is the signing of Johnny Damon, the long-haired, bearded and all around fun-to-watch former center fielder for the Boston Red Sox. He has now signed with the Yankees for more money than the Sox would have paid him.

But here's the interesting part: this wasn't all about money. In fact, Damon says he was offered a longer contract worth more per year from another team. So why take less money to play for the Yankees?

You could say it's the team's storied history or its numerous World Series championships, though Boston has a pretty cool history and Damon now has his ring.

No, it's none of that, at least not publicly. According to Damon: "I'm here because [Yankee GM] Brian Cashman was aggressive and George Steinbrenner wanted me.''

It's that simple, he felt wanted. His new teammates called and lobbied him, treated him like a star, and that treatment paid off in evangelism.

But let's not leave the Sox out in the cold here. Johnny's a pretty classy guy and was treated well by the Red Sox over the years. He has not bad mouthed his former team (as others have done) and simply states facts.

Yes, most companies aren't as well known as the Sox or the Yankees, but treating employees (and customers and partners) well and with respect is as much a PR move as it is just good business.

1 comment:

Peter Kohan said...

The Yankees, for all the largesse they extend to their players, don't seem to grant that type of treatment to its beer vendors and administratve staff. There are may tales of Steinbrenner's penny-pinching and dictatorial behavior with employees on the lower rungs of the organization.