Who’s Minding the Store?

by Roger Pynn

For the second time in as many days I’ve sat dumbfounded by news releases. I’ll focus on one that doesn’t involve any client interests, but this one mirrors a release that sent our shop and a client executive scrambling when a public relations firm issued an incorrect news release supposedly without client approval. The problem, however, was that our client and more than a half-dozen other high-profile organizations had a stake in the real story.

When Travelocity issued a news release about a new multi-year, multi-million dollar agreement with US Airways, the airline promptly issued its own release that said while the basic facts were correct, online travel agency Travelocity had not consulted them and had clearly indicated US Airways in the release.

In these days when collaboration and partnerships are so prevalent and important, the need for strict adherence to basic protocol is essential. No release should ever go out without total agreement from all parties … and a signature or e-signature confirming approval is a must.

Just as important is a system of checks and balances. No one can afford this kind of error … much less the potential of offending a partner.

One Response to Who’s Minding the Store?

  1. Great lesson in press release quotes as well. They should never imply the exclusive endorsement of a client by one of their customers, unless that is actually the case. It’s shocking that this was distributed without the approval of at least someone at the airline. Hopefully the PR-folks involved have the email confirmation or faxed/scanned signature protocol you mention in order to defend their actions.

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