Post by Kerrie Flanagan
I was hired to write a press release, but was asked to write it like an article-one that would tug on the heartstrings of the readers. The hope was the local newspapers would run the press release as a story and it would encourage readers to attend a nonprofit fundraising event.
I interviewed the people involved, researched the nonprofit and wrote the story. Before submitting it, a few writer friends read it and it brought tears to their eyes. I was thrilled and thought my job was done. That was until I got a call saying the subject of the story was upset because I had some important facts wrong.
My heart sunk. I knew better. I knew I should have double-checked some of the facts. It would have been easy for me at the end of the interview to take a couple of minutes to review the facts with the person I was interviewing.
The good news is that the press-release hadn't gone out yet and I was able to make the necessary changes. The bad news is it looked bad for the client who hired me and then she potentially looked bad to the organization who hired her to do the PR for the event.
Big lesson learned: Check the facts and don't make assumptions.
What writing faux pas' have you made?