A Canadian businessman.
A Canadian businessman awakened one morning to find himself on the front page of a major newspaper. There was a flurry of unflattering allegations, and the initial report was followed by a national media frenzy.
Part of our client’s problem was that reporters were not checking with original sources, rather relying on reporting from other media outlets to get the news – a process called “scalping.”
It became clear very quickly that there were a number of background players and questionable sources in this media crisis and they had competing agendas. Some were deliberately feeding disinformation to the media for reasons that never became clear of controversy.
For our client, weeks of media frenzy turned into months of controversy. And, most satisfying, our client told his story under oath before members of the parliament of Canada. This was one of the longest crises we have seen anyone endure in decades.
Stop the media’s feeding frenzy based on second and third-hand sources, and encourage reporters to get the story right from the source. Calm the churning political waters. And, to get our client’s side of the story told.
We assigned a spokesperson to represent our client, issuing a news release requesting any reporters following the story to get in touch with him. We created a distribution list of reporters on the story who were then sent regular e-mail updates. Most were contacted by phone on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis. Politicians and public servants were involved.
Reporters following the story were soon phoning the spokesperson for information, or asking to confirm or deny a report they’d picked up elsewhere. Often, the calls were “for background” or “not for attribution,” but talking with reporters rather than issuing news releases enabled our client to salvage – and repair – his personal and professional reputation.