PR Oops: How to Correct Misinformation in a Press Release

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There’s nothing more heart-stopping than realizing you just sent out a confusing or flat out incorrect press release. That freezing feeling in your chest is you seeing into the future where your business is leaking money due to the faulty document you just sent out on the wire.

Luckily, there are some things you can do to counteract this grim fate. They don’t all end with you escaping to Guadalajara, either!

Retract It

Is the press release still making its way to the reporters and editors of the world? Then you still have time to snatch that thing away before anyone sees it! The best thing to do is call (don’t email in this situation) and ask for them to ignore the press release. If they were thinking about printing it, they should honor your request, especially since they probably have 500 other PRs they could put up instead.

When you ask them to hold it, also tell them you’ll be sending out a corrected version. This might actually give you a little bit of a chance to get noticed. At least they’ll remember your name when your follow up comes in.

Send a Quick Correction

If the press release has already hit the morning paper, then it’s too late to hide it. Now the main thing you need to do is correct the bad information on the press release. If you think it would be damaging enough, then send a correction to the paper. If the reporters there are nice enough, they’ll print it no problem.

Even if they don’t, not all is lost. Get the word out there by writing up a new press release and sending it out. Put it up on your website and Twitter accounts that the info is wrong. Don’t just let it slip away unnoticed as your customers might continue to believe the bad info is real.

Use It as a Joke

Remember the Red Cross gaffe a few months ago? They managed to take that goof and turn it into a lot of donations toward their cause. You may be able to do the same thing with your little error. If you see an opportunity to tease yourself about it, then go for it.

Many consumers appreciate a little self-deprecation. It reminds them that no matter how big a company is, it’s still run by humans, and humans make mistakes! If this happens to you, don’t try to escape it, embrace it and remind everyone that the people behind your business are just as human as everyone else.

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download a free copy of the PR Checklist – a 24 point list of Press Release Dos and Don’ts here:

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