Ben Lowndes #viewsoncomms

A perspective on PR, development and life in the South West

How (not) to win media mates

I blogged last year about organisations who use their websites to slate the media for the negative coverage they are subjected to.

There are better, more direct ways to express dissatisfaction, and it is not an approach that will be looked on favourably by a newsdesk the next time a decent story is offered up.

I was moved to offer that advice this morning after Google Alerts sent a link to my inbox which detailed a complaint about a mistake in an otherwise positive magazine piece about a housing project.

The complaint related to an error, which stated that one partner would be responsible for owning and managing a housing project when built. In fact, another organisation would be responsible for this. Worth raising in future conversations perhaps, but the error was hardly malicious or libellous and was certainly not worth addressing on a third party website.

When responding to journalistic errors, proportionality is very important. Anything deemed ‘over the top’ is unlikely to be taken seriously and could be counter-productive in the long run.

For obvious reasons, I can’t go into more detail about the issue in question. But I thought the scant detail I could share would be worthwhile, if only to remind me that using partner websites to give your organisation a ‘fair hearing’ is hardly ever the best way to make friends in the media.

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