Monday Morning Quickie – The Importance Of Checking Facts In Media

I got all excited when this morning’s NBC-5 News in Chicago featured a horsebiz in their Mug Monday segment…but when I went to their website to learn more, I found it linked to a church website rather than a horse farm.

OOPS! NBC-5 News linked to this church website in error...

Keep in mind, the media is run by people just like us – they make mistakes, and are working hard to do more with less. So things like this happen. But for Walk On Farm, what could have been a nice media mention that might have directed new clients or supporters to their site has instead resulted in a glitch that might just lose those same people. And they’ll never know.

...when THIS is the horsebiz that NBC-5 News actually featured on their Mug Monday segment.

It’s not a good idea to make people work hard to find you online. I had to try multiple searches and click through a lot of pages to find the Mug Monday link on the NBC-5 News site, and then once I found it and discovered the link error, I had to google Walk On Farm to find the actual website. How many people would take the time to dig to that level?

In addition, when you’re working with the media, it’s important to dot your ‘i’s’ and cross your ‘t’s’; while entire books have been written about how to work with the media, here are a few tips for horsebiz folk to remember:

  • Ask to do a fact/quote review on print articles – and if you ask, be available to do it within the reporter’s deadline
  • Provide links and images by email, so you have documentation of what you sent, and there’s less chance of error on the media’s end
  • Remember the basics of having a good story to tell and sticking to your brand messages, even when reporters start digging for information in other directions
  • Check back after the segment or article is out, to be sure things are correct – if they’re not, ask for a correction, apology, or retraction, whichever is appropriate for that media mention

On the plus side, here’s another new NBC-5 Chicago feature – a small business blog called Inc Well; I look forward to reading this blog and if there are things I find that are applicable to the horse world, I’ll be sure to share them here.

Has a media outlet made a mistake when reporting on your horsebiz? How did you handle it? Share your experience here via the Leave a Comment link.

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Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, Monday Morning Quickie, New Media, Uncategorized

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