Email PR Mess – Word of Warning

New York Times

Email disaster at New York Times

Have you seen the latest brouhaha and email PR mess regarding the ousting of New York Times Editor Jill Abramson? Of course, this situation is more complex than just emails — featuring gender pay gap questions, style of leadership, who was promised what position and more. Full emails are being released, and showing up online, including in this article in The Daily Beast, outlining the recruitment of an outside editor and information that the NYT would much rather stay private.

In my last blog post, I talked about crisis communications, and some things everyone should keep in mind when there’s the possibility that an email could be released and be made public. It was number 2 on my list:

2. Emails – a couple of things here. It’s like the reading of your rights – ‘anything you say, can and will be used against you.’ I tend to keep emails short and to the point. Again – consider what could happen if it was made public. If there’s any sensitive info, it’s better to meet face to face, or have a phone conversation – that isn’t recorded. Too many things can be misinterpreted via email. Don’t give people more ammunition to use against you.

The New York Times fiasco is a perfect example. That’s why there are telephones and face to face meetings. Many of us will be watching to see how this plays out on a number of levels.

Margo Myers, Margo Myers Communications

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