Publicity (and journalism's) dirty little secret

Publicity (and journalism's) dirty little secret

Remember the old guy who died last month? The one who claimed he had invented the TV dinner? (Brace yourself if you can already see what’s coming.)

Well, he didn’t. Invent the TV dinner, I mean. (Yes, he did die.)

According to a recent Los Angeles Times story (in their archives if you’re interested enough to pay), Gerry Thomas’ bull– er, baloney about turkey points up what reporter Roy Rivenburg called:

“… one of the dirty little secrets of journalism: reporters rarely have time to investigate every claim people make about their pasts. If you want to embellish, just fool one reporter for one article, then you can use it to show other reporters that your story checked out.”

Sad, but true. And definitely not a practice I recommend to my clients, or anyone who plans to have more than a one-shot fling with the media. As a former reporter myself, I’m here to testify: We HATE being lied to, manipulated or deceived.

But then, doesn’t everyone?

So when dealing with the media (and everyone else, for that matter), honesty and full disclosure really are the best policy. Especially now, with the Internet making it possible to search everywhere for anything. And uncover your lies.

A word to the wise…

All together now, let’s sing: “My baloney has a first name, it’s G-E-R-R-Y. My baloney has a second name, it’s…”

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