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Friday, 8 July 2011

Social Media Does In Media?

The connection between traditional media and social media has never been more starkly illustrated than in the demise of the UK's dominant Sunday newspaper over intrusive phone tapping.

And it has been ironic to see events unfolding through PR eyes as the tables were turned and a media giant turned and twisted on the roasting spit of media attention.

The public has spoken and their outrage at the newspaper's crossing of the decency line, hacking phones of 'ordinary' families of dead soldiers and murder victims quickly fed into a media and social media frenzy and the swift withdrawal of advertising revenues. It's another example of the speed at which a reputation can be lost.

This Sunday will see the end of the paper's 168 year run. It was News International's most profitable paper: The News of the World, with a circulation of 2.6 + million (ABC) and a readership of 6.5m - 12% of the UK population (Metrica /Gorkana UKPulse).

But it's worth putting into perspective. Few international PR and media blogs seem bothered. Despite the massive readership, it is a not a world shattering event. Although News International obviously has media interests outside the UK.

But the papers are having a field day here.

Will it make tabloid press reporting more responsible? We can only wait for the answer to that.

Is it another blow to the offline media in general? Or more of an own goal?

And with the phoenix of the Sunday Sun ascending, will it matter?

But there's long term damage to a brand that steps over the line and it will be interesting to see how that manifests itself in years to come.

More importantly: spare a thought for those whose phones were hacked and the additional suffering heaped onto people at an incredibly difficult time. That's damage that lasts a lifetime.

PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK. URL: TV Channel on YouTube: Ltd on LinkedInFollow PennyHaywood on Twitter
posted by Penny Haywood Calder at


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