Tuesday, August 17, 2010

News Release: Legally Binding?

Singapore.  (14 Aug 2010.  2300 hrs).  Today, an international celebrity who was scheduled to perform at a local event did not show-up. In a bid to "manage the crisis", the PR Team was called in to craft a News Release.

As with all Releases concerning multiple parties, the final draft was a collaborative process with the celebrity's management company proposing that the celebrity's absence be explained as "unavoidably delayed". Realising that the celebrity had likely broken a legal agreement, the PR Team decided to consult the company's lawyers on the suitability of this statement. Thankfully this was done and, on the advise of the lawyers, the word "unavoidably" was removed. This was to prevent any potential wiggle-room for the celebrity to avoid paying the company compensation.

While the word "unavoidably" sounds like good PR Speak, it was designed to protect the interest of the celebrity. As I explained in an earlier blog about the working relationship between reporters and PR Professionals, as PR Professionals we must also remember who is our pay-master. This is no different even when we are dealing with other PR Professionals from other companies.

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