We all know how important copy editing and fact-checking can be to PR departments; last week we ran a story about a single error that cost New York City’s MTA a quarter of a million dollars.
But sometimes little mistakes can turn into PR wins. Case in point: When Village Voice columnist and theater expert Michael Musto attended the play Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, he noticed that the playbill incorrectly credited lead actress Sigourney Weaver with an Oscar for her role in the sci-fi classic Aliens.
After Musto posted the mistake on his Daily Musto blog, he received a perfectly phrased email apology from the show’s publicist Rick Miramontez, who works for top Broadway firm O&M Co. In explaining his error, Miramontez wrote:
“…it was MY mistake, NOT hers. And, for the record, I thought she had won Oscars for Gorillas in the Mist and Working Girl, too.”
It doesn’t really matter who actually made the mistake–Miramontez covered it and endeared himself to one of his most important media contacts at the same time. Sometimes damage control can be as simple as saying “yes, we were wrong” in a funny, humble way without trying too hard. This move wouldn’t work in every industry, but it’s all about knowing your audience.
Oh, and for the record, we appreciate his confusion: Sigourney Weaver got robbed that year!