There are many ways in which a company may obtain damage, so for our celebrity news channel we looked at potential risks for our channel, how to prevent them, and what could be done if the risk arises.
Firstly, one risk may be that a story on the channel may feature facts which are false and/or derogatory, which could lead to celebrities or the public suing the channel because of the false information, especially if offensive. One example of this mistake is when InTouch magazine were fined 25 million pounds in damages for accusing David Beckham of cheating on his wife. In order to prevent this risk in the first place, the channel could censor and proof read/check through all the articles or stories produced by the company to make sure all statements are honest, and no false information that may cause immense damage is released. However, if this mistake is made, an advisable way to deal with it is to deal with the error responsibly and make a formal public apology to the celebrity, making sure to be sincere about the apology. Pay any necessary fines and portray your company as civil and responsible as possible – genuineness will prove to both the celebrity and the public that your company can accept and be willing to repair mistakes. Fire the people in charge of the false news, and make sure to be public about the changes being made, show your company taking action.
A second risk to the channel may be the exposure of information that is private about a celebrity or leaking information/pictures. An example of when this has happened is the scandal of when iCloud was hacked by top hackers and around 500 private photos of celebrities were leaked, back in the August of 2014. A method that could be used to avoid this problem is proof checking your stories to make sure there is no content that would not be appropriate to share without consent of the celebrity. In addition to this, keep tabs on your staff to make sure they are working appropriately and are not hacking private information, and making sure your stories are public information before releasing them and/or gaining permission from the celebrity before releasing them. But if this mistake is made, a way to deal with it is like the above suggestion, deal with your issue professionally and sincerely, making a public apology. Apologise sincerely on behalf of your company to the celebrity and to the public. Pay any debts or punishments put on your company and fire the people in charge of the leaked story. Publicly show the changes being made in your company to prevent this happening again, such as improving your proof checking and management, and firing the said people involved in the exposure.
A third risk to the channel may be showing too much bias, which could lead to people ignoring your channel and celebrities suing, for example Fox News are notorious for presenting Barack Obama in a negative light but then are in complete support of Donald Trump, leading them to have a low reputation as a news channel as their information is heavily biased. A way in which this could be prevented is that when making your story, be sure to be fair about anyone involved, and show different perspectives on the story and also keep biased opinion out of the story – focus on the facts not the opinion. Don’t repeatedly show down a celebrity especially without reason, be sure to present them in a fair and unprejudiced light. In circumstances where the mistake is made, again like before, for all mistakes, be responsible and professional about the way you handle your problem. The more professional and sincere your company is about the mistake, the better it looks on your company are you have far better chance of restoring the reputation of your company. Publicly apologise sincerely to unfairly presented celebrities, fire any staff who were biased without consent, and change your company and your company’s image – re-brand and make sure all stories from that point onward are fair, proof check them and make sure all information released is based on fact not opinion. Make sure your company is managed properly and make obvious changes to your brand.
Fourthly, a potential risk to the channel could be that presenters could get out of hand, and are publicly rude on live TV. In an interview they may talk over their interviewee, or they may make snide comments when presenting a story about certain celebrities that are uncalled for, especially if that presenter has a biased opinion on the celebrity. For example, Angela Scanlon from the One Show was recently shamed for cutting off Emma Willis as she told a heartfelt personal story. A way in which this situation can be best avoided is if that when hiring people to present on your channel, pick people with the best public reputation that do not have a history of being publicly rude during any showbiz they may have been involved in before. Make sure your company runs through with them the rules on how to act publicly and what they need to say when presenting. Make sure if things get out of hand to have an earpiece to communicate with them, and have the option that your company can simply turn off their mic if necessary. However if things do get out of hand and the situation needs resolving, the best way to perhaps do this is to handle the situation responsibly. Publicly apologise sincerely to the celebrity involved, and pay any debts necessary. Fire the presenter and be sure to make public the changes being made. For example, show new rules and practises being put in place to avoid this situation in future, such as script run through’s and application adjustments.
Lastly, an issue that may occur on the channel is obscenity – presenters swearing or being inappropriate in any way when broadcasting. For example, a Channel 5 presenter was sacked in 2014 for making an obscene gesture on live TV. Because this is a celebrity news channel, obscenity can be prevented by pre-recording footage so that no obscenity is released. If it is pre-recorded, it can be edited to cut out anything obscene if necessary. To prevent or lessen the risk of this happening in the first place, make sure to run through the rules with presenters and make sure there is nothing that can provoke them. The lady that was fired from Channel 5 was provoked through her earpiece which is what caused her to act out, so putting safeguards in place to ensure this doesn’t happen would be a wise decision on behalf of the company. If this problem does arise the best course of action would be to apologise publicly, and be responsible. Publicly fire the presenter and anyone involved, and apologise to the public for exposing them to obscenity. Be sincere, and show adjustments being made in your company to change this in the future. Pay any public charges, and show to the public new ways in which you as a company will censor obscenity in the future.