MySpace’s downward spiral has definitely had its share of train-wreck watchers, but few things could have been more surprising than TechCrunch’s post yesterday about just how rapidly the site’s decline is accelerating.
We’ve written before about what MySpace might have done to save itself, at least with aggressive PR steps. But, if the site’s numbers are dropping this quickly, all that’s left is what PR playbook News Corporation must run as MySpace’s parent company.
For starters, it’s unlikely News Corp will get caught up publicly on the cost issue. Yes, $580 million – what News Corp paid for MySpace – could have bought lots of tickets to recent Fox film studio turkeys. But for a company whose quarterly profits recently doubled to $254 million, it certainly can absorb the loss over time.
So if the numbers aren’t the biggest sting, then maybe the stigma associated with MySpace’s awful and cheesy reputation is what hurts most… right? Nope, wrong on that account too. News Corp’s red-headed stepchild Fox certainly isn’t shy about promoting the lowest of low-brown content. Just look at how Fox Cable Networks’ 75% ownership of the National Geographic Channel has polluted that otherwise globally respected brand.
And of course, c’mon News Corp – calling MySpace the “premier lifestyle and social-networking site” – really?? Ditch this language, please.
Maybe all that’s left is for News Corp simply to own up that the entire transaction was a debacle, revel in the absurdity of the whole thing and move on – such an admission might humanize a notoriously unhumanizable CEO. And that’s the winning PR strategy.