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 $200 Off PR News' Digital PR Conference

 digitalpr2015-180x150_updated
Join us June 1-3 where you'll hear from top brands such as Walmart, Miami Heat, Verizon and Ritz-Carlton on PR and communication best practices for the next wave of digital trends.

Use code “200off” at checkout to save $200 on the regular rate.

Get $50 off PR News' Book of Employee Communications

employeecommunications-180x150

In this 5th volume of PR News’ Book of Employee Communications, our authors cover more than 45 articles on crisis communications, social media policies, human resources collaboration, brand evangelism and more.

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.