Sign in/sign up

Barbara’s Mansion

By Seamus Byrne in Media News on
Following up on the 'Shut up and Complain' column from two weeks ago, it's remarkable to think that some organisations are in desperate need of a reminder on the Streisand effect.
 
To go back to the history books, in 2003 Barbara Streisand wanted to suppress this aerial photograph that featured her Malibu mansion. It was just one image in a collection of over 12,000 images of California's coast, and was for a project documenting coastal erosion and not some effort to pap her home.
 
In filing a US$50M lawsuit, Streisand and her lawyers drew attention to the fact that the image existed. During proceedings it was learned that the image was only downloaded six times ahead of the matter arriving in court, including twice by Streisand's legal team. Once the case drew attention to the photograph it was accessed more than 420,000 times in the next month.
 
In 2005, Mike Masnick from Techdirt coined the phrase when yet another lawsuit drew attention to the existence of something someone wanted censored. And in the 15 years since, again and again, people trying to suppress things they don't like find that heavy handed efforts to demand removals never fail to make a lot more people pay attention to the thing you're trying to hide.
 
In the past decade, major tech companies of all sorts have put themselves into the firing line. Whether it's demanding a video is taken down, or a customer sign a settlement that demands silence, small targets sometimes seem easy to take care of. But again and again, it just signal boosts the problem.
 
I can only imagine the efforts of PR teams who have successfully talked companies off the ledge on this issue, and those who have had to hang up and facepalm when their best advice goes unheeded and the excess of unwanted attention comes rolling in.
 
Here's a few key points to remind clients about when they're singing from Barbara's song sheet:
  • Never lawyer up just to intimidate journalists and publishers
  • Don't demand something you might be able to ask for politely
  • It's better to deal with your problems than hide them
  • If something you don't like is true, but almost no one has noticed it, let it live in obscurity
  • Fight things you don't like by telling more valuable and interesting stories
 
Maybe you win a battle or two, and maybe sometimes there's a just fight to be fought in the name of privacy or security. But demanding a removal doesn't make the information – nor the way you tried to deal with it – disappear from the memories of journalists, customers and the public.
 
It can get an awful lot harder to tell good news stories when the time comes to try to move forward again from whatever it was you were trying to avoid.

The image is copyright 2002 Kenneth & Gabrielle Adelman, California Coastal Records Project, www.californiacoastline.org, shared with permission under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Membership privileges

  • Read and comment an all stories
  • Weekly digest of media and PR news (optional)
  • Post media releases to PRWire newswire
  • Advertise job vacancies
  • List your business in our PR directory


Please note that Influencing is used EXCLUSIVELY by media and influencers, as well as professionals who manage marketing and communications within their organisations, so we need a work email address.

More Media News

Miraudo to run RTRFM

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Simon Miraudo is the GM-designate for WA radio station RTRFM, effective 16 November, reported Radioinfo.

He will take over from Chris Wheeldon, who had been interim GM after Karen Lee left earlier this year. 

Miraudo has been with the station for almost ten years, starting out as a volunteer then later co-hosted the Movie Squad review show.

Tune in to Miraudo on LinkedIn.

Towell runs economics beat

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Noel Towell has moved to become The Age’s new economics editor.

He previously handled the paper’s state politics desk.

Follow Towell on Twitter @NoelTowell.

Lizzies 2020: Final Tickets Available

By Mike Woodcock in Media News on

There are just 4 weeks to go until the 2020 Samsung Australian IT Journalism Awards.

With our COVID plan ensuring safety for all attendees, numbers are very strictly limited, however some tickets are still available.
Please note:

  • Dress code is Black Tie formal 
  • The Watterson Best-Dressed Journo Awards Theming is 'Country'
  • Event-exclusive pre-dinner rides from 6pm to 7pm
  • Doors open at 6.45pm
  • To ensure the safety of our guests, there will be no official After-Party this year.

Because numbers are strictly limited, we will be closing ticket sales early this year, so if you do plan on coming, please secure your tickets and RSVP as soon as possible.

For our guests that have already RSVP'd, thank you for your early response - we look forward to seeing you Nov 6th.

The email problem

By Seamus Byrne in Media News on
It's easy to send an email. At scale it gets trickier, and no doubt most PR uses dedicated tools to manage bursts of press releases or other information when sent to many journalists in one quick go. We've touched on the issues of list management in the past, but it's also important to remember where the real effort lies in the email relationship.
 
Once upon a time, there was a cost to sending every single message you wanted to send out into the world. By post, it was both money and time. By fax, it was money (and the hope it would be legible at the other end). In both instances, there wasn't a bona fide expectation that the recipient would definitely see what was sent to them.
 
In the email era, there is no cost to send and practically instant delivery. This means exponential scale messaging has become the norm. You write it once, you send it to thousands. Dust your hands, it's a job well done.
 
Of course, this places the greatest emphasis on t

Ferguson off to Washington DC

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

ABC NEWS Beijing bureau chief Sarah Ferguson has been tasked to the US capital, Washington DC, for the next six months.

The ABC stated that she will be there for in-depth reporting on the US presidential elections and its aftermath, right up to the inauguration in January 2021.

ABC Washington bureau chief David Lipson, North America correspondent Kathryn Diss, and chief foreign correspondent Phil Williams are already on station to cover the polls.

As Ferguson’s reassignment leaves the Beijing bureau with no reporters to cover developments in North and East Asia, ABC News is temporarily setting up a bureau office in Seoul, South Korea.

“We have a top-notch team in the Washington bureau and Sarah’s superb long-form and investigative reporting will add formidable firepower to our coverage of the fascinating and significant US story,” said ABC NEWS director Gaven Morris.

"The drama of the US story is compelling. It's the other side of the coin in the g

Hunt tapped for First Edition EP

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

SKY News has appointed Zoe Hunt as the executive producer of breakfast show First Edition.

She will now be in charge of booking guests for the show and coordinate with SKY News reporters in preparing their stories for airing.

Hunt has been a line producer at the network since joining a year ago. She had previously performed similar duties at the Today Show.

Get to know Hunt on LinkedIn and on Twitter @ZoeHunt1002.

Finder taps Megginson for editor work

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Consumer comparison site Finder Australia has welcomed Sarah Megginson as its new senior editor for home loans.

She will cover developments in the home mortgage circuit and oversee Finder’s content strategy for the vertical.

Megginson recently exited Key Media after 13 years, the last four of which as managing editor of B2B mortgage brokerage title Australian Broker. 

Follow Megginson on LinkedIn.

More News latest

PRIA’s national conference goes online
The PRIA's virtual conference kicks off on 27 October.

360PR lands BATHEFEX account
360PR is on the case of Chemcorp’s BATHEFEX line.

New clients are in at Polkadot
Polkadot Communications has new clients in the fold.

Mango Communications wins Teachers Health account
Mango Communications is working with Teachers Health.

Icon Agency takes on Carers Victoria account
Icon Agency begins new campaign with Carers Victoria.