Not long ago, I spent a Netflix evening watching “All the President’s Men,” a wonderful 1970’s film about the Nixon Watergate scandal and the two Washington Post reporters who broke the story. I was reminded that good investigative reporting takes time, patience, and corroboration, and that much of the work relies on detailed notes.
When developing thought-leading articles or case studies as a key element of a marketing and brand strategy, organizations may benefit from the same rigor. In our work, we conduct hundreds of subject-matter expert and customer interviews on behalf of our corporate clients. When possible we make recorded transcripts, but in addition, we still keep detailed notes that are dated and filed with their overall project record. Memos are saved and placed in the project file, along with draft and final versions of published documents. Such record-keeping can be tedious, but the benefits are worth it. When a client calls six months after the fact, we can be confident we have the raw material needed to provide assurance that the names, facts and research in the case are well-founded, citations are accurate, and what was purported to have been said was in fact based on a clear set of notes or transcripts.
If our work was part of a public relations strategy for which articles or studies are likely to be published in the media, this becomes particularly important. Media outlets are more varied than in years past, and many now rely on externally sourced content. But that doesn’t mean that submitted articles and press releases can be sloppy or inaccurate. If an organization wants to be a trusted content provider when working with the media, they have to demonstrate consistently reliable research and reporting.
Organizations committed to truth and transparency in all their communications soon find that their brands reflect this ethos. Getting there begins by founding those communications in the rules and processes of classic reporting.
©2013 STORIA Associates Inc