THE BIG QUESTION: What are the main PR challenges facing the Sun newspaper?

Last week the Sun newspaper announced that it will be hiring a dedicated public relations professional to manage its public image in line with its sister papers which each have their own PRO.

Last week the Sun newspaper announced that it will be hiring a

dedicated public relations professional to manage its public image in

line with its sister papers which each have their own PRO.





JULIE WILSON - IPC Magazines



’Long gone are the days when page three and its reporting style gave the

Sun its top PR position. The paper now faces fierce competition not only

from rival papers, but also new media. And PR disasters like Sophie’s

nipple haven’t helped. The PR challenge has therefore got to be about

positioning. The Sun employs some of the cream of British journalism,

but do we ever see them as spokespeople? The paper has some of the best

sports coverage around and sections which are informative, entertaining

and, more importantly, very popular - but do they ever make the most of

these? Emphasis needs to be placed on the quality of the reporting and

the fact that not just ’white van drivers’ are the readers.’





CAMILLA NICHOLLS - The Guardian and the Observer



’It will be a long time before anyone forgets the Sophie’s nipple

debacle, so the Sun urgently needs to mend its relationship with the

Royals. Compared to the Daily Mail and the Mirror, its two nearest

rivals, the paper does little to appeal to women. The Sun’s editor David

Yelland, lacks charisma and seems afraid to be a spokesperson for the

paper. If he were more high-profile and approachable then it would help

to counter the Murdoch-is- pulling-all-the-strings image of the paper

Garry Bushell is currently the face of the Sun and that’s not too

attractive.’





NICK FULLAGAR - Trinity Mirror



’The Sun is obviously feeling the pressure. It is the worst performer in

the market in terms of actual readers lost - it can’t be happy with a

drop of 4.5 per cent year on year with its volume of sale. Sometimes

when you are a market leader you can get lazy and the hiring now of a

dedicated PR person for the title demonstrates that it has lost its

way.



The newspaper has got an enormous task on its hands to improve its

public image. Each one of our national titles have a dedicated PR person

and that has been the case for the past seven years. The trends for our

titles are extremely positive. No doubt the Sun looked across, saw the

success of our teams and decided to try to copy it. That’s very

gratifying.’





ANITA STRYMOWICZ - Soho PR



’The main challenge for the Sun would be to encourage other national

media to credit the paper for any stories taken from it, improving brand

awareness. The Sun would, of course, have to be prepared to do the same

in return. The News of the World’s PR activity includes targeting

regional press with ’Captain Cash’ stories. The only regional work I’d

encourage would be to feed credited Bizarre gossip to regional radio

stations’ breakfast shows. Another important challenge would be to

address the paper’s page three content. If the Sun wants to attract more

women readers it has to confront its sexist stigma. There may be no

caption now, but a page three girl will always be a page three girl,

even if we are told her name, and it is guaranteed to offend half the

population.’



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