Knowing how to approach a journalist to ask for a correction while still maintaining a good relationship with them can be difficult.
In some instances where the article appears online it could be as easy as updating the information on the webpage. If the article is printed, it may involve a correction or a retraction, depending on the error made.
PR Fuel has provided a simple guide to asking the media to run a correction.
Make sure your correction is worthwhile
Don’t ask a journalist to run a correction just because you didn’t like the tone of the article or if you were portrayed in a bad light. Only ask a journalist to run a correction if they’ve made a factual error such as misspelling a name, title or published the wrong description of a company.
Maintain a good relationship with the media
Don’t call a journalist to abuse them for making a mistake this will only destroy your relationship with them and make them less likely to run a correction. When you contact a journalist politely inform them of the mistake and provide them with the correct information. Then ask if they can run the correction.
What if a journalist refuses
Politely ask to speak to their editor/supervisor and explain the situation to them. If they also refuse it’s a good time to reassess whether the mistake is important enough to correct. If you decide it is then contact the next person in the chain of command.
Why asking for a correction is important?
When a story is published in the media it becomes a source of information for journalists and future stories. If the mistake is not corrected it may be repeated in media coverage in the future. Even if a correction is not published in the media it may still be documented with the original story. This will inform journalists in the future and help them to not make the same mistake.
The story will also be seen by your target audience, which means it’s essential they receive the correct information. If mistakes are made they may not be able to contact your business or they might receive the wrong message about your business.
You can determine if it’s appropriate to ask a journalist for a correction depending on the severity of the mistake and the strength of your relationship with them. However, many PR professionals will tell you it’s important to at least ask a journalist for a correction.
Have you ever wanted to ask a journalist for a correction? How did you go about it if you did?
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Sydney Public Relations Agency, CP Communications provides specialist media, traditional and online PR strategies that get amazing results. Contact us today. For more great tips visit our website www.cpcommunications.com.au.