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Feb 16, 2010

PR Tips 101: What To Do When You’ve been Mis-Credited or Left Out of Press You Deserved

 

I’ve been receiving topics from loyal readers out there, asking me to write about things that they would love to hear my thoughts on. I love the idea of being able to answer your questions when I can. This one comes from a wedding planner in the Midwest…

“What should you do when you realize you’ve been misquoted (or mis-credited) in print?  At that point – it’s too late, copies are everywhere, and changes can’t be made. I’m very thankful for the free/positive press but the misquotes can sound like I don’t know what I’m talking about.  I’ve taken to recapping the pieces on my blog and adding my own ‘note of correction’, but I’m not sure if (or how) I should be contacting the magazine directly to let them know of the errors…do you have advice on how to handle these scenarios while maintaining a good relationship with the editors?’

Love this question because it can happen a lot. Here’s the deal…. Wedding media are people like you and me- they are human and they make mistakes. At times its just a case of human error, or a miscommunication, and other times the information wasn’t given to them correctly. They can only do so much to make all of you look good.
A very crucial part of my job is to ensure as best I can that clients are labeled accurately and highlighted in a positive light. Every once in awhile I do see a person’s name misspelled, but I choose to look at this still as great press. If a client or vendor wants to find you or read more about you they’ll go to your website and look you up. Don’t worry!! The good news is, they will still be able to find you and you will get to use this feature on your press section/marketing materials.

On another note, I have seen bloggers leave out key vendors when listing credits on their blog posts, but often times I can’t blame them if the person who submitted them your work didn’t include everyone they should have. I would certainly keep in mind that its up to YOU to communicate with the photographer or whomever  is, submitting your feature, to be sure they have the right information.

My note to photographers (and please don’t get offended by this!!)  BUT its not all about you and your work submitting to media. Yes you took the images but the people who helped make the work look fabulous need some love too, please be sure to include the full list of vendors when you send the images to media. The bloggers will feature you but many of the ones I read every day don’t list the key vendors. I say this because as a bride and avid reader of these blogs- I want to know who contributed what. They are helpful for me as the bride and also as a publicist.   I feel bad for the vendor who got left out. It may sound cheesy.. But I’m sad for them! I want everyone to get some love! It goes back to a post I wrote  a while back: we need to be sure we are taking care of each other here. You wouldn’t have the opportunity to have such  gorgeous images if the vendors who were contributing weren’t involved and at the same time vendors need to be grateful for photographers and their ability to make the work of designers, planners etc. look really great.

If you find that your business has been mis-credited or there is an error in a press feature including you,  try one of the following:

  1. Email the Blogger: and ask her if she wouldn’t mind fixing the error or adding the right info. Online its a lot easier to edit something then it is in print. It may also be a good idea to have the person who submitted your the work to reach them as they are the main point of contact for the feature.
  2. Reach out to the Publication: If you choose to contact the magazine to let them know of any errors with the credit, sometimes they will publish any corrections in the front of the magazine in their next issue and many times I have seen them revise the file and send it over in a pdf so that you can use the corrected version. That is the best they can do and I think its a great way to try and right the situation. If you don’t know how to reach them, try emailing the generic email address listed on their website. It should get passed on to the right person
  3. Don’t be quick to fault the media outlet: Maybe they didn’t know or didn’t get the right info. Listen, if they do it to you over and over again, then ok I get it.. Something is up on their end and just choose to submit your work elsewhere, but lets remember the bigger picture here. They are here for you and for us! They are telling the stories we want our brides and vendor community to read and over all we are GRATEFUL  to them!

I know that my reader was noting she was thankful for the press and  I definitely hear her and want to address that sure you can do something on your own blog to help make it right but I would also say- sometimes we don’t need to draw attention to what wasn’t done well. Lets just focus on what was done. Your image was featured, or your company name was mentioned, they may have credited it to the wrong photographer and hopefully the publication will give you another chance in the future to right this wrong, but in the mean time Blog that picture, or the editorial feature, and show the magazine feature to others- proclaim that its yours!

The more you give, the more you receive. If we are bitter and blogging about the annoyance of the error it doesn’t make you look good. Most times people wont even notice an error.

 

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