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News Corp Outrage Meter: a back of the napkin calculation

Is there a simple way of calculating the depth of outrage against News Corp’s behavior? I doubt so let’s give a try anyway.

How’s this?

Outrage=(P+V)S x T ⁄ (R x I )


  • P = Probability of occurrence (0% – 100%).  The higher the probability with no corresponding action in redress by News Corp the greater the outrage.
  • V = Vulnerability of News Corp to the impact (0 = None; 1 = Minimal; 2 = Moderate; 3 = Significant). The more invulnerable News Corp believes it to be the greater the outrage.
  • S = Sentiment or likely public perception of the experience on a scale -3 (don’t care) to +3 (incensed). Rupert might have dismissed this before (after all what else but shady practice could guarantee a constant entertaining flow of inside information and gossip) but the sentiment turned ugly when the same practices were turned from wealthy celebrities and politicians to the general (defenseless) public.
  • T= The time frame in which News Corp knew of the practices without taking remedial action.
  • R = the reputation of the firm -3 (reviled) to 0 (neutral) to +3 (love and adulation)
  • I = Influence News Corp has to get 3rd party opinion leader support and protection. 0 = low; 3 = high). Unarguably high before (for the wrong reason) but now evaporated.

OK it’s a first pass at a complex subject so welcome any better attempt!  But good luck Edelman for being the brave PR agency soul to touch the toxic subject.

Would you risk your firm's reputation by telling News Corp.'s side of the story? Interesting viewpoints here. It might take a little more than full-page apology ads and deflective messaging to fix this one.

A few outrage management suggestions Edelman and Mr Murdoch:

1. Find a reason News Corp deserves a license to operate (a.k.a middle ground): Acknowledge your opponents’ best arguments right along with your own best arguments.

2. Acknowledge past misbehavior: And apologize for  errors in judgment and oversight from the top down

3. Acknowledge the current problems humbly and honestly

4. Give away credit: to the guys that finally exposed the practices

5. Share control and be accountable: even though that will be hard on both counts for Murdoch the public expects it and the more willingly and proactively they do this now the less involuntarily they will have to do so in the future

6. Get the underlying issues out in the open ASAP: it’s going to a big bad Ka-ching hurting moment but death by slow revelation is worse.


  • Business enterprise


Terence Lyons

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