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Reading Festival Riots: urban myths & reputation

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I have been watching the discussions over at UKPress.org surrounding alleged riots at the Reading Festival. It has been fascinating watching the way the story has developed over the day. I had watching the discussion go around as the community participants add their own contributions, opinions and embellishments to the story.

What the posts missed however was some sort of independent authority of verification (like a festival organiser or a police spokesperson). A couple of respondents reflected that they were surprised that the mainstream media didn’t cover the story, rather than assuming that it may not have happened.

From these discussions, I would be interested to know how it develops offline based on what people had taken a way from fragments of the conversation.

The principles of reputation management to deal with this remain unchanged:

  • Respond early
  • Respond decisively

However now monitoring is key as the debate runs at a much faster clip than the media agenda. Of course, your response could all be part of the grand cover-up. I’m going to leave you there as my black helicopter awaits.

Archived from blog posts I wrote for PR Week