Monitoring Panama Papers Global PR Crisis

April 12, 2016 Sean Couch

In the United States, most Americans are focused on the presidential election, but the rest of the world is reeling from the biggest corporate data leak in history that is being called the Panama Papers. How much data has been leaked? A lot. We are talking about 11.5 million documents and 2.6 terabytes of sensitive information. Just check out this visual representation so you can see the comparison to other data leaks:

Why should you care? In a nutshell, the data reveals a myriad of offshore accounts and shell companies that are tax havens or fronts for the world's richest and most powerful people. Among those caught up in the leak are dozens of current and former world leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and British Prime Minister David Cameron. The data is so damaging that Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson of Iceland had to resign after the disclosure of questionable bank dealings contained in the leaked data just 48 hours after the leak.

Have the #PanamaPapers redefined the word "awkward" for world leaders? @iamjohnoliver investigates. #LastWeekTonight

— Sky Atlantic (@skyatlantic) April 11, 2016

Repercussions are still unfolding as more of the leaked information is revealed, but it is clear that the Panama Papers is creating a massive global PR crisis. We scrapped through the vast global media landscape and created an interactive report so we could monitor media and report on all of the news. Here are some of our big takeaways so far: 

1). Toxic Messaging Themes

Panama_Papers_Key_Messages.pngThe Panama Papers are toxic, and anyone who is mentioned will be associated with press key messages and themes that will have serious repercussions. We examined millions of publications and discovered the top key messages surrounding the leaked data. Some of which includes: tax evasion, money laundering, crime, or resignations. All are words or phrases that would make any politician or business executive cringe if accused.

2). Politicians Are In The Hot Seat

Politicians_Linked_To_Panama_Papers.pngRight now world leaders are being scrutinized the most and the biggest casualties from the leaked information. The public has already seen a few notable resignations in just a week since the leak went public. The press expects many more will follow as the stories evolve.

3). Socially Amplified Over 5 Million Times!

Panama_Papers_Social_Amp.pngAround the world, people are taking notice and have shared news surrounding the Panama Papers across social media over 5 million times! Facebook has helped drive most of the conversations and additionally reported over 900,000 comments on content associated with the Panama Papers. Social media continues to play a significant role in helping influence and organize movements that have major impacts in countries across the globe. We may soon be witnessing several political shifts that could be a result of groups organized via social media.

Check out the full interactive press report here to dive deeper into stories circulating about the Panama Papers. 

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