Tina Brown, the editor of Newsweek, has an image problem. In her brief tenure she can point to a 20 percent rise in newsstand sales and a 2.6 percent increase in subscription renewals but her press coverage over the last week? Terrible.
Jolted by a series of high profile departures, staff at Newsweek appears to be buckling under her allegedly tough management. The New York Times quotes her lamenting to staff: “It’s all hell, it’s agony” while she officially describes her vision as “constantly evolving and improving.”
Her PR is depicting weak leadership. The trick is to appear imperious and above the fray. Stop interviewing. Communicate with advertisers and readers via strategically leaked memos where Tina sets the tone.
The PR Verdict: “C Minus” to Tina Brown for giving the impression she is losing her nerve.
Stop the polite interviews. Focus on leaking decisive internal memos. Point to circulation successes. Lather, rinse and repeat.