A story appeared today on Fox News Latino online about two men who died mysteriously on a Royal Caribbean International cruise ship as it arrived at San Juan, Puerto Rico. Each man was vacationing with his wife, so it was tragic as well as potentially casting a negative reflection on the brand.
However, the photo accompanying the story depicted a Carnival Cruise Line ship, not an RCI vessel. An alert reader contacted Carnival Corporation, which referred it to Carnival Cruise Line’s PR department, which enlisted assistance from our agency after failing to get the photo changed over the course of 24 hours.
I looked up Fox News Latino in our media database, which listed eight contacts who all had the same phone number.
I called, and the Fox News operator would not transfer the call to the editorial department without a specific name, so I picked one from the list. The operator said she wouldn’t transfer me directly to an anchor. I explained that the person was listed as a producer. So I gave her another name. She transferred me to the newsdesk.
The fellow who answered listened to my story, then repeated it to someone else in the newsroom — I heard the conversation. Then the hold music came on, then the line went dead.
So I called the switchboard again, and this time the operator sent me to the news story voicemail, so I hung up and dialed again. This time she must have recognized my number and didn’t bother to answer, she just sent me to the voicemail box.
It was time to implement a scorched-earth policy.
I crafted the following email: