Asking any journalist to correct a story is a delicate balancing act, as SodaStream found out last month.
If a story is factually incorrect, no problem. The journalist will, generally, appreciate the call to say that a mistake has been made. After all, nobody wants to look like an idiot.
When it something more subjective or indeed as a result of badly planned PR, then tread carefully. The request to update a story can easily backfire and leave you, and the brand you represent, looking foolish.
SodaStream seems not to like part of this story - a straw poll of 100 people that said its fizzy wine mix tasted like a premium Champagne.
The poll seems to have come from SodaStream itself, so when they tried to backtrack the journalist, rightly, stood his ground. The very fact the retraction was sought made it into the story, and has been shared around the world.
Journalists are not paid to make you look good. Thought and planning need to be the starting point behind any PR activity - whether a smart law firm or a fizzy drink maker.
So, if a brand's PR advice is as cheap as SodaStream's Champagne knock-off then a brand really has only itself to blame.
SodaStream claims to have conducted an independent taste test of 100 people in Germany, which found that 76 percent of people surveyed rated the resulting mixture on par with actual French champagnes like Moet & Chardon and Veuve Clicquot, for whatever you feel that that’s worth. (Apparently it’s not worth much; on May 21st, 2018, SodaStream contacted The Verge asking us to remove this claim and delete this entire article, stating that its taste test claim is “inadmissible.”)