Wednesday, March 15, 2006

AP misquote hurts Denny's effective response to shooting

A murder-suicide at a California Denny's restaurant has been met with a quick response from the company, assuring that their thoughts and sentiments received early Associated Press coverage. Here's the statement in full:

"We are shocked and saddened by this tragic incident that occurred today in Pismo Beach, California. This appears to be a random act of violence. We are cooperating with the police in every way possible. Questions regarding facts of the case and the unfolding investigation must be referred to the Pismo Beach Police Department."

"Our primary concern at the moment is the welfare of the victims, their families and our employees. Our company is providing professional counseling to all those affected. We will continue to support them in every way we can."

Excellent response. Fast, concise, focused on the welfare of the people involved in the incident--all conveyed in an appropriate tone.

Unfortunately, the AP dispatch transformed the "tragic incident" quote into a "tragic accident"--different words, different meanings, different tone.

This is one of those times when the company got it right, and the media got it wrong in a way that could be harmful to Denny's reputation and bottom line.


Anonymous Ike said...

That's one of the benefits of pushing your statements out through blogs and RSS. People are more likely to catch that discrepancy, and ultimately not hold you accountable for a transcription error (or something more deliberate.)

Transparency rules!

10:05 PM  

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