A Tragedy of Errors-Six Words That Roiled the World

 

A Tragedy of Errors-Six Words That Roiled the World

It has been a big year (so far) for public relations catastrophes and crisis management. But no story can compare with Newsweek's huge gaffe when investigative reporters Michael Isikoff and John Barry wrote the following in the Periscope column in the May 9, 2005, Newsweek: Among the previously unreported cases, sources tell NEWSWEEK: interrogators, in an attempt to rattle suspects, flushed a Qur'an down a toilet and led a detainee around with a collar and dog leash. These six words--"flushed a Qur'an down a toilet" --traversed the globe, reportedly caused riots in the Arab world where 16 people were killed and more than


More Takeaway Points to Consider

If you are libeled or slandered, cont. *If a company or an individual is wronged, the two people to talk to at once are a gunfighter lawyer and a PR person. Get them out of bed or off the golf course or back from Hawaii and set up crisis situation room that is manned 24/7. *Designate a single individual to be the only spokesperson, and be firm that no one else speak to the media. *Nothing gets attention like the threat of a multimillion-dollar lawsuit. If someone in your company does the libeling *Again, if the statement is demonstrably untrue, it is essential