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July 12, 2011

PRSA: Rupert Murdoch is Torching the Reputation of News Corp.'s Brands — PRDaily Op-Ed

In an op-ed published July 12, 2011, in Ragan's PRDaily, PRSA Vice President of Public Relations Arthur Yann, APR, writes that Rupert Murdoch, who is embroiled in a scandal involving phone hacking by News Corp.'s British newspapers, is "torching the reputation of all of his brands" in not transparently addressing the escalating scandal.

Yann continued: "The totality of [the News of the World] scandal encompasses something PRSA has been saying for quite some time: Reputation management in the digital age is becoming an immense challenge for many businesses — even for News Corp., which has weathered many crises over the years."

PRSA Chair/CEO Weighs In on Burson-Marsteller Ethics Flap
By Arthur Yann, APR
Ragan's PRDaily
Published: July 12, 2011

The fallout from the News of the World phone hacking scandal has been stunning. Equally shocking was the reprehensible actions some News of the World journalists took to scoop their competitors, including hacking into the mobile phone of 13-year-old Milly Dowler, who went missing in 2002 and was subsequently found dead.

While pundits and journalists continue to flesh out the aftermath of this escalating global scandal, yesterday The Guardian reported that reporters from The Sunday Times, News International’s venerable broadsheet, had attempted to hack the voicemail of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown while he was in office—the question for public relations professionals now turns to the long-term impact these transgressions will have on how we counsel clients in managing their reputations.

Jane Wilson, CEO of the U.K.’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations, wisely notes that the closing of the News of the World “is a great example of traditional and social media working together to produce a staggering outcome.” In this case, following immense pressure on several News of the World advertisers earlier in the week from online activists and the general public, brands started pulling their advertising, en masse, beginning with the high-profile defection of Ford.

Unfortunately, this combined with several other factors led to the loss of more than 200 editorial and staff jobs as the 168-year-old British tabloid was shuttered; a loss no one should cheer.

Read the rest of the op-ed at Ragan's PRDaily.
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