CEOs must possess several qualities to be great leaders, but the News Corp scandal has proven that having good communications skills – especially in a crisis – is the pick of the bunch.
Rupert Murdoch did not give enough credos to his communications strategy when accusations first emerged that News of the World had hacked into murder victims’ voicemails.
Saying his company only made “minor mistakes” in its handling of the crisis in a Wall Street Journal interview – without saying sorry – and then putting his name to sombre apology ads hardly evokes a sense of public sympathy for the organisation.
And – not that anyone should warrant a pie in the face – saying at the Commons select committee that the News of World calamity was just a “small part” of the things he has to deal with at the helm of News Corp, deflected responsibility at a time when he should have been repeating his remorse.
The 80-year-old media mogul has an equally dated approach to PR, which could see the foundations of his media empire crumble, both here and Stateside.