Peter Morrissey is an associate professor of public relations at Boston University’s College of Communication. He is also an expert in reputation management and offers the following comments on what steps Rupert Murdoch should take in regard to his PR and reputation.
“Rupert Murdoch is trying to stay above water, but I’m sure the News of the World has offended and tarred many powerful people in the past. Now it is time to pay the piper.
“Murdoch has some good PR counsel, but the facts are not with him on this one, so there may have to be a lot of public blood-letting. His apologies were good, but forced at best and a little late. Once you are caught, public apologies often ring hollow.
“He needs an independent person or panel to get to the heart of the matter and make some hard hitting reforms to Murdoch’s organization. Otherwise, he may be the king to lose his head on this one.
“Murdoch’s reputation has never been lily white. He is a hard competitor and surely is synonymous with sensational journalism, his Wall Street Journal ownership aside. He made his fortune on selling tabloids to the masses.
“But being an Aussie is not a good place for a Brit sometimes. Reputation redemption may be a long road back. For now, they just need to get at the bottom of the controversy, before they can think about any long-term recovery or offense.”
Contact Peter Morrissey at 617-353-1020, firstname.lastname@example.org