Reputation Management #2: CorpsCommsMag, “Controlling The Media”

October 2, 2011

I follow CorpsCommsMag on Twitter.

To be honest I follow CorpsCommsMag because it reminds me of the title of a song by The Fall.

However last month through CorpsCommsMag I found myself reading this article “Controlling the Media” by Andrew Cave.

It’s about the future of the Press Complaints Commission. This paragraph lept out at me:

Hawker argues that the PCC is ineffective in assisting communicators to suppress information that may be harmful to their clients, leaving them with the
expensive route of taking out injunctions in the courts to prevent publication – something he has only been successful in achieving once.

‘People think that because you’re a FTSE100 company, you can afford to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on protecting your reputation,’ he adds. ‘But
that’s not the judgment of most shareholders. Injunctions are really just for celebrities and, unless you are royalty, the PCC is no good because it is
reactive, rather than proactive. So the News of the World case is not just about voicemail interception; it’s about the media being able to answer for
the way it operates.

This struck me as an unusual interpretation of the role of a regulator.

If for example it was said “OFCOM has proven ineffective in enabling ITV to supress information which may be harmful to ITV”, this would seem…odd.

True the world of newspapers and the world of broadcasting are very different. And OFCOM and the PCC are very different kinds of regulators (for a start the PCC is widely assumed to have failed).

It set me wondering “Does digital media make it more difficult to supress information which may be harmful to your client?” and “When does it becomes so difficult that it’s not worth doing anymore?”.

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