Article: Newspaper adopts classic crisis PR strategy after fabrication scandalPosted: December 7, 2012
Newspaper adopts classic crisis PR strategy after fabrication scandal
By Gil Rudawsky || Posted: December 6, 2012
PRDaily.com || http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/13323.aspx
A reporter for the Cape Cod Times named Karen Jeffrey was caught for fabricating sources in her reporting since 1998.
This was discovered during an audit, which should have been done sooner, by the Times editors. They were unable to identify 69 people used as sources in 34 of her stories.
While this should have been discovered sooner, the Times did do their first smart thing by instantly reporting it in their paper and made themselves transparent, as we are taught to do in PR. They could have tried hiding it, but most likely it would have been discovered years later and made things much worse(As was shown in the Penn State case study done by our classmates).
They didn’t make any excuses or blame other people, the Times took complete responsibility for the situation and wrote a public apology in the paper. They handle the situation directly and promptly, unlike what BP did with their oil spills where they placed blame elsewhere and offered false apologies.
As future PR Professionals it is essential that we first, never fabricate stories or make up data to cut corners and meet deadlines; and second when we or the people we represent mess up, we must take full responsibility for the situation and never hide anything. Eventually everything comes to light, and it is always best that the persons responsible are the ones to shine the light.