Tuesday, August 09, 2005


This story interested me not because of weight loss, but because researchers have shown how to play tricks on memory.

Several scientists have shown convincingly that we dare not trust memories for much, and I find too often that people don't recall events as they were. It is an old saw in the news business that you check everything, and never trust anyone (Remember the wheeze, "If your mother says she loves you, check it out."). It is no different in PR.

One of the most important tasks of a PR practitioner is state matters accurately. Put another way, we function as in-house reporters for organizations. We report the news that reporters in the news media will eventually carry. Yes, we spend a great deal of time considering how to position stories, but too often we forget that getting stories accurately is the first task. There is nothing worse than posting a correction after putting out a release. That happened to a client in the last year. The client had researched a topic but overlooked critical facts and was swiftly corrected by two corporations left out of the client's study and release. I felt like I couldn't crawl over my shoe tops the day we put the corrected release out. We looked like idiots -- and we were. We had trusted the client's data and had not cross-checked it.

When clients relate to you what they remember about an event, take notes then check and re-check their "facts." You'll find some are just plain wrong and you will have spared your client embarrassment.


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