Friday, July 22, 2011

You’d Think a Mega Media Mogul Would Have a Better Handle on Crisis Communications

But in the case of Rupert Murdoch, you’d be wrong.

Reviewers were unimpressed with Murdoch’s testimony this week before British Parliament in the rapidly expanding and deepening News Corp. phone hacking scandal.

Murdoch’s performance was yet another reminder of a lesson we pointed out recently: that executives need better crisis communications training.

It wasn’t exactly the notorious no-comment approach. But it was far from the transparent, accountable leadership that Parliament and the public were looking for. Is anyone buying Murdoch’s pleas of ignorance about what’s been happening at his news outlets?

It seems News Corp. has handled the phone hacking problem poorly going all the way back to its beginnings in 2006. Instead of tackling the issue head-on when they had a chance, Murdoch and his son James must now clean up a much bigger mess.

To do so, they’re going to have to be more open, responsible and direct than they’ve been to date. After all, you can’t make the story go away just by ignoring the scandal in your own media … or even by winning a little sympathy after a pie attack.

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