Why you should push back against journalists—in either direction

It’s obvious that spokespeople should correct reporters when they have something wrong, and it puts your brand in a negative life. But be warned: Exaggerated positivity is bad, too.

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For example, let’s say your company made a product—a poorly designed auto part—that is probably responsible for four deaths. The reporter might ask the company’s CEO, Bob Miller, this question: “You make more than 10 million auto parts each year, and only four have been linked to deaths. Do you ever feel that it’s a bit unfair for your company to be viewed as irresponsible when you have such an impressive safety record?” Be careful! You might agree with that premise, but agreeing with the question won’t do you any favors. If you say anything remotely close to “yes,” here’s how that devastating two-minute news segment might play out:

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