Yesterday we discussed managing crises with visual content, where I mentioned some tips for identifying red visual flags (or their possibility) that could help a crisis go viral, as well as outlined some important strategies to help you incorporate visuals into your crisis communications plan. What I didn’t mention, is to not let visuals become your own undoing, due to a lack of fact-checking and doing your due diligence.
NZ Herald makes a big photo no-no
My friend and colleague, Tony Jaques of Managing Outcomes, sent me the following article: NZ Herald reviews procedures after photo of comedian used with dead soldier tribute.
The article reads:
“The New Zealand Herald has launched an internal review of its editorial processes after a tribute story about an NZ-born Israeli soldier who died in Gaza was accompanied by a photograph of late comedian Ryan Dunn.
The newspaper used two photos of the Jackass star in the mistaken belief it was Guy Boyland, who died last Friday.
Staff sourced the image from Boyland’s Facebook page, with the incorrect photo of Dunn appearing in both today’s print edition and online. It raises immediate questions over what checks are made when sourcing material from Facebook and other social media sites”
HZ Herald editor, Shayne Currie, issued a sincere apology, but the point is that he never should have had to in the first place. This was a preventable issue. One that lessens the credibility of the news publication, good apology or not (although yes, a good apology does help in making amends).
More lessons on visual content – and content in general
Before you publish anything – in and out of a crisis – do your due diligence. It’s easy enough as it is to become the target of an attack, or to come face-to-face with a crisis in this connected and real-time world. Don’t make things harder for yourself by making avoidable mistakes like this one!