News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch has figured out a way to refocus media coverage of him, his media empire and the phone-hacking scandals that have engulfed his company—start his own Twitter account.
Since launching his Twitter account on Dec. 31, Murdoch has gotten coverage about his tweets from Time, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, The Guardian, Reuters—the list goes on. The nearly simultaneous launch of the fake Wendi Deng Murdoch Twitter account didn't hurt media coverage of his account either (hmm...a conspiracy perhaps?).
As of 5 p.m. ET on Feb. 6, Murdoch had tweeted 32 times and amassed 115,500 followers. Although there were several tweets plugging product from his subsidiary companies (the George Clooney movie The Descendants, the Matt Damon movie We Bought a Zoo, an article in The Wall Street Journal) along with some politically slanted comments, Murdoch magnanimously tweeted about (approvingly) and linked to a New York Times article about education.
Murdoch (or someone close to him) has studied up on best practices for social media: Tweet personal comments, don't be overly promotional, share good content—even if it's from a competitor. Most important, he's there and his tweet seem authentic. This will go a long way toward diverting attention away from embarrassing scandals or anything negative and focusing attention—the good kind—on Murdoch the person. If you want to media train your own senior leaders and show them how to put a human face on an organization, Murdoch's Twitter account is a good place to point them.