Friday, July 06, 2012
Here is one way to tick off customers, create bad PR and kill your budding business -- offer a news service with fake bylines. A Chicago start-up, called Journatic, supplies newspapers with hyperlocal reporting but to disguise how it does it, the service created mythical names as authors of its stories. Newspapers are not happy. Journatic lost customers, and the explanation of the founder strained credibility. He says he has stopped the practice, but the damage is done. Although some commentators think Journatic will survive, because there is no other way for large newspapers to cover local news, the founder has a steep mountain to climb to regain credibility. One would think an ex-journalist would understand the relationship one needs to keep with a newspaper publisher. Apparently not. Add this story to examples of how not to do it.