Considerations Before Trying to Squash the Negative Story

It's about to happen. You hear a story will run that says unfavorable things about your company. Or, perhaps it’s a story that might lead to negative financial ramifications for your client's organization.

Perhaps, you think, as a PR pro you are paid to use your relationship with the reporter and ask that she stop the story from running.

Not so fast.

“You really can’t kill a story” and shouldn't try, says Tawanda Carlton, PR director at Media Frenzy Global.

“As PR professionals, we play the middleman" between media and companies we represent. "However, we can't control the media. Asking a journalist that you have built a solid relationship with…to kill their story is bad business as a PR professional.”

Not to mention that trying to kill a story could result in damaging your relationships with other media members. It is, after all, a small world.

"PR professionals need to tread very carefully before they attempt to squash negative stories," says Arick Wierson, a former senior communication aide to former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg and current freelance journalist.


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