When Bad Journalism Impacts Your Public Relations/Marketing Efforts…

I have heard time and time again that any PR is good for you…even if it is negative.  And, while I don’t necessarily agree with this assertion, I do believe that you need to get your name out there, through PR in particular, as much as you can.

But, what happens when the wonderful interview you did with a “journalist” not only gets miss quoted but your cool new product/service gets associated with your competitor’s name?    It happened just the other day to my husband’s company by a journalist for USA Today.  Here’s the link, can you tell from this piece that Haws Corporation owns the name Hydration Station?    Click Here.    After the gnashing of teeth and tearing of clothes is over, what can you really do?  Well, in this day of social media…plenty.


1)      E-mail the Publication—the first step should be to email the publication about the mistake and ask for a retraction in the next printed issue or in the next electronic publication.  This will get your name out again and could be even better than the impact you would have achieved through the first article. 

  • What if they say no?  Well, there is nothing you can do with the printed version, but you can use the comment section for the article as a way to correct the author.  I would recommend that if you are going to take this action that you have a friend or business associate do the comment for you so that it does not appear self-serving.

2)      Share the article through Social Media—in this way you get your name associated with your product and with the great newsworthy article.  It makes you and your product “visible.”  Encourage your fans/friends and others to pass it on.

3)      Place a link to your article on your website—having fresh content relating to your brand/product/service on your website increases your “Google” juice and makes you more visible on the internet.

4)      E-mail the Author—you would have thought that I would have put that first wouldn’t you?  But in many instances the author is a freelancer and has very little control over (or desire to) fix their mistakes.

5)      Acceptance—you need to accept that many publications are using freelancers and that you are not going to be entirely control of your message.  Be prepared (and prepare your boss!).

Mistakes in PR are going to be more and more problematic as the switch from full-time journalists to freelance “experts” and writers becomes more mainstream.  You need to be prepared to deal with the mistakes  quickly and decisively. 

Happy Marketing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: