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Wrestling for brand credibility

768pxroller_derby_1950_3Roller derby and wrestling, once staples of late night and remnant weekend slots, have become mainstream. It was campy fun back then. It's big money now. Where big money goes, so goes controversy. This one has lessons for you.

WWE is going to the mat defending itself after being featured in CNN's expose, "Death Grip: Inside Pro Wrestling." In the days when wrestling was just fun, this story would have been equally laughable--as would be  options for fighting back.

The WWE is seeking transparency on this story, posting both the unedited interview and the edited excerpt used in the broadcast. Does CNN twist words with an edit? Or, do they drill to the essence of the comment. As Fox News might say, we report, you decide.

The bigger point: WWE is doing it right. Daylight is the best disinfectant and transparency is the most disarming defense because it is based in authenticity. Protecting your authenticity increases your messaging magnetism.

Media trust is shaky as is their grip on communication channels. Learn from this: counter broadcast messages by going narrow, appealing to your primary base with aligned communications. Defending your brand perception is a battle of inches. When under fire, instead of choosing who to lose, pick who to protect.

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