Publicity Numbers Lessons

Publicity errors

Ever wonder if the numbers that reporters publish about a sports figure, or political issue are accurate? Probably not. That’s because we pay money for magazines, newspapers so we can get information that answers our questions.

Well, it’s not always that simple. It seems that reporters, publishers are jut not as accurate as we would like to think.

I came across an article that talks about this issue. It seems a person named Richard Holden, who was a longtime editor at the Wall Street Journal, started collecting poorly presented numbers that showed the figures did not clearly represent the facts.

For example, in Carl Bialik’s article that I read, mentioned an article of a baseball manager was seeking his 1,000th career victory. Mr. Bialik went on saying that the reporter didn’t specify how many he’d amassed so far.

If you get a chance read the entire article by Mr. Bialik. He provides several examples that you can "play along" to see if you spot the errors.

What does this have to do with PR? Good question.

It means we tend to sometimes act too quickly to get that important message out to the media that we don’t stop and make sure our "information" is accurate.

Poor or weak information won’t get a reporters attention. And making numbers sound better than they are could get your publicity campaign the type of recognition than you do not want.

II strongly recommend you hire a professional PR firm. It doesn’t mean they are all mighty and cannot make mistakes, but it means another set of eyes and ears outside of your company might challenge your information for accuracy. And that can be the value when paying for outside talent.

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