Remember when Rupert Murdoch last decided he was going to intervene in a crisis at News International? In July last year, as the News of the World teetered on the brink, Murdoch flew in to take control, went on a walkabout with Rebekah Brooks and, when asked what his top priority was, Murdoch gestured at Brooks and said: "This one". See a video of the shambles of a photo-opportunity below:
Now it is reported he will fly into the UK later today to take personal control of the crisis at The Sun after staff were arrested for allegedly making payments to police. This is a very bad idea and here is why:
1. His arrival gives the story 'legs' just when it has died down. Initially the arrest of executives and journalists at The Sun was big news but the world turns, the news stream flows. Why add something new to the mix to give rival news organisations an opportunity to run the story again?
2. He doesn't think before he speaks. I'm not one of those who is anti-Murdoch, to the man or his companies. Any man who has made as much money and become as powerful as Murdoch deserves respect. That doesn't mean he should be allowed to utter one word in public. The problem is: he is so powerful who is going to stop him? As with his comment on Rebekah Brooks being his top priority expect his words to be ill-advised.
3. He doesn't communicate empathy. When Murdoch is in town he has a bizarre way of driving around town in a Range Rover, smiling and waving to the cameras, while wearing a shiny shell suit. I can only imagine he is trying to communicate a sense of calmness - in face he communicates a remoteness and couldn't-care-less-ness which reflects badly on his UK brands.
Once in the UK it will be very difficult to control the images and messages Murdoch communicates which is why my advice is that he should just stay away.