We’ve all heard about the recent footballer who tried desperately to maintain a gagging order on the press to not reveal his name in relation to his affair while everyone and anyone on twitter was happily talking about it.
The episode has raised a lot of discussion on exactly how anyone can keep anything quiet now that one tweet can make it round the world before the media have got their trainers on…so to speak.
The question is, can anything remain secret anymore? My view is, no. Once something is known by more than one person then there is huge potential for it to spread. So what do you do if you don’t want your secrets to get out? The simplest answer is tell the truth. As soon as the cat is out of the bag there’s very little point in trying to stifle it. Instead, address the issue head on. Okay, so it’s a simple answer but not simple to put in practice.
The other issue is what happens when the information actually isn’t true. Celebrities often find they’ve been declared dead on twitter only to happily tweet that they are still alive and kicking (which funnily enough is harder to communicate than the bad news). There is potential for fighting back though. A recent tweeter found himself not quite as anonymous as he thought he would be on twitter. While Giggs (whoops did I name him?!) and his lawyers have been trying and failing to uncover who originally leaked the information on twitter, South Tyneside Council has had much more success. A blogger made some libellous remarks against the Counsellors and the local authority sought and WON a US court order to force Twitter to hand over the details of the users. So where premiership footballers have failed, a Council in the north of England has won. I like that!
To read more on what you can do about media leaks from a public relations perspective, check out this article here