Oh no…

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This week, I received the worst email from a PR I’ve ever received, a missive so cringe worthy I can barely bear to recall it. What was so bad about it, you might ask? It wasn’t the pitch. It wasn’t the product. No: it was the fact that rather than sending the finished, spell-checked, perfectly crafted article, the PR had accidentally sent a draft. To everyone.

There it was, all three coloured fonts of it, complete with crossed-out words and phrases in red, and annotated notes at the bottom, presumably added by a superior. Honestly, I’d have felt less embarrassed if I’d caught the PR in flagrante.

Everyone makes mistakes, so why did this one make me cringe so much? Probably because I’m so fearful of making a similar one myself. It’s a journalist’s worst fear to make a mistake in print, because it’s indelible. And, thanks to the internet, it’s also eternal. A factual error could end in libel, but even a grammatical one could end in ridicule. Happily, if you work on a newspaper, magazine or properly resourced and funded digital platform, there will be a slew of safety nets to ensure these errors don’t occur.

PRs have fewer safety nets, which means it’s even more important that new staff are properly trained in whichever content management system they are using. I don’t think badly of this PR at all, but I do feel sorry for them. They didn’t recall the email, so I don’t even know whether they were aware of their mistake. If they are reading: don’t worry. Mistakes happen. It’s how you learn from them that matters.

What Laura Thinks…

“This caught my eye as it seems a confusing proposition. I’m not sure why two separate size brackets are being specified, and the age bracket is very specific, too.”
 

See Press Release

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