Archive for February, 2012

We Name the Editor of The Sun on Sunday

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 by Rob Brown

When Rupert Murdoch announced the imminent launch of The Sun on Sunday, he didn’t name the editor.  We’re naming him as Dominic Mohan, the editor of The Sun on every other day of the week.

It’s not a trick headline (OK it is… a bit), it points out something that’s all to easily missed after the melee that Murdoch mustered to herald the launch of his new Sunday paper.  This isn’t a Sunday newspaper.  This is a daily newspaper that happens to have a Sunday edition.  It’s an important distinction.  Sunday newspapers, even the News of the World, have been resourced to work on stories and scoops without the pressure of a daily deadline and with the time to conduct proper investigations.   The Sun on Sunday will be churned out by weary hacks and the first editor in national newspaper history to work a 7 day week.

It also suggests that rather than an act born of a newly discovered appreciation for media ethics the closure of the News of the World presented an opportunity to produce a red top title seven days a week with a vastly reduced staff cost.  Still if Mr Mohan feels the pressure of the increased workload he can take solace in the fact that Rupert has promised to stick around for a while to make sure that everything is running smoothly.

That must be a relief.


About Rob Brown

Rob Brown has worked in PR for over 20 years and for over fifteen years held senior PR positions within three major global advertising networks; Euro RSCG, McCann and TBWA. He launched his own business ‘Rule 5’ in MediaCityUK, Manchester in November 2012. Rob is the author of ‘Public Relations and the Social Web’ (2009), blogs for The Huffington Post and is joint editor of 'Share This Too' (2013).

Football’s reputation rescued by sponsor?

Monday, February 13th, 2012 by Jon Clements

Once upon a time, a week was a long time in politics. Now football – seemingly unable to get a grip on racism, scandal and all-round bad behaviour by players and managers alike – is experiencing the same fate.

But the latest action by a major sponsor may now bring some sense to the shambles and place reputation at the heart of what Premier League football clubs should be thinking.

First, the now-former England manager, Fabio Capello, completely misjudged the sentiment surrounding John Terry and the FA’s decision to strip him of the captaincy for Euro 2012, so paying with his own job.

Then, the latest chapter in an already dire story concerning Liverpool player, Luis Suárez and Manchester United’s Patrice Evra began with another handshake-that-wasn’t and ended with a rush of apologies from player and club.

As for Suárez, his brains – as Guardian football writer, Daniel Taylor rightly sums up, “are all in his feet”. But for Liverpool manager, Kenny Dalglish – Liverpool legend and, you’d think, a much savvier professional football manager – his post-match response to “handshake-gate” was woeful. And by alluding to the media as culpable in whipping up the story, he should have seen the abyss widening beneath him. Call me naive, but the manager is more regularly the face of the club than even the players or the management. Therefore, its reputation is firmly in his hands.

Now, the latest twist is that Liverpool shirt sponsor, Standard Chartered, has weighed in with the following (c/o The Guardian):

“We were very disappointed by Saturday’s incident and have discussed our concerns with the club.” A person familiar with the matter said: “It was a very robust conversation.”

Money talks, and a sponsor pumping in serious amounts of cash to a club doesn’t need a player at the heart of the most high profile racism row in UK sport carrying on like a spoilt child while bearing the company’s logo.

It’s taken until now for Liverpool managing director, Ian Ayre, to take a stand by criticising Suárez. But what about Dalglish?

Maybe the “robust conversation” with Standard Chartered may get Liverpool – and other clubs – to wake up to the equal value and fragility of reputation and the very tangible (i.e., pounds and pence) damage that can potentially be inflicted.

Reputation management in top flight football can’t be entrusted to players and managers if they believe their singular responsibility at the club is to kick a bag of air, or instruct others how to.

About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''