Sony shoots the messenger

Please Analyze and answer the questions.

Case Study – Sony shoots the messenger

in the 21s century, public relations professionals are often charged with bringing the bad news to managers. Modern managers, by and large, appreciate this candor. But occasionally, as in the case of Sony Pictures Entertainment, they are not so appreciative. Sony’s problems began in November 2014, after the company released the trailer for a satirical comedy about North Korea, The Interview. The movie included the killing of North Korea’s boy ruler Kim Jong-un. North Korea’s supreme leader didn’t see the humor. Shortly thereafter, cybercriminals hacked into Sony’s computer system and leaked 32,000 internal e-mails containing confidential and embarrassing correspondence. The criminals promised to stop leaking documents if Sony canceled the movie release. Sony got cold feet and canceled The Interview’s theatrical release. Eventually, the company changed its mind and initiated a low-scale release of the movie, which was quickly resigned to the Hollywood scrap heap. In one of the leaked e-mails, Sony Co-Chairman Amy Pascal was taken to task for mails surrounding her decision to fire Charles Sipkins, Sony’s director of communications after she was not invited to a Hollywood Reporter roundtable interview with studio heads. Shortly afterward, Pascal was fired as Sony’s co-chairman, basically for what she revealed in her e-mails. Another messenger had bitten the dust.

1. How would you assess Sony’s handling of the hacking scandal?

2. Had you been Amy Pascals public relations advisor, how would you have suggested she handle the fallout from emails, adjusted as “racist”?

3. Had pascal asked you to counsel her on what to do in the light of her husband’s email about the roundtable , what would you have suggested?

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