News Corp.: Too Big to Have a Crisis Plan?


News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch has gone on record about the allegations that News of the World, owned by News Corp., hacked the cell phone of a missing girl in the U.K. in 2002. He told News Corp.'s Sky News that the allegations are "deplorable and unacceptable," which is not quite the same thing as saying that the hacking of phones is deplorable and unacceptable.

Murdoch also indicated that News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, who was editor of News of the World when the girl, Milly Dowler, was abducted and ultimately murdered, would remain in her job.

Brooks herself said in a statement that she is "sickened that these events are alleged to have happened...I hope that you all realise it is inconceivable that I knew or worse, sanctioned these appalling allegations."

The Guardian in the U.K. reported that News International is now saying that Brooks was on holiday at the time of the alleged hacking of Dowler's phone.

This is not the first time that News of the World has been accused of phone hacking.

News Corp.'s reaction to this latest crisis, which appears to be focused on the innocence of one of the company's top executives rather than on the subject of phone hacking and its victims, could fall under the category of "too big to have a crisis plan." Perhaps the plan is to circle the wagons and protect company officials, and perhaps News Corp. is so powerful that it can survive any kind of reputational blow.

In reality, it's a business like any other, with a bottom line that can get hurt badly. The most important message—the one that should ring loudest—should be directed at the family of Milly Dowler. Even if the allegations prove false, the family must be suffering through this news cycle, and it must be cold comfort to them that Brooks was on holiday during the worst moment in their lives.









Comments Off

Deals of the Week

Get $150 Off PR News'Crisis Management Boot Camp

Crisis_Boot_banners_175x135_ep

Join PR News on September 15, 2014, at the historic Yale Club in New York City for an intensive boot camp will put you through the paces of crisis communications to help you avoid, or at least mitigate, the damage that can come to a brand.

Use code “150off” at checkout.

Get $50 off PR News' Media Relations Guidebook

book-mediarelations-180x150

This 8-chapter resource contains practical implications for some of the most innovative developments in media relations, including the technologies, methodologies and mannerisms that determine the ecosystem in which PR pros practice this essential part of their craft.

Use code “50off” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription

Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.

Comments are closed.