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:

I apologize for including so many producers on this email, but my repeated attempts to contact someone directly at Fox News Latino by phone have been unfruitful. I hope that one of the recipients will see that this message gets to the appropriate individual.
My PR agency represents Carnival Cruise Line.
There is currently a story online at:
The headline is: Two Americans mysteriously dead aboard cruise ship docked in San Juan
The story is about two passengers who died on a Royal Caribbean International ship at San Juan, P.R., but the accompanying image is a photo of a Carnival Cruise Line ship. 
On behalf of Carnival Cruise Line and in the interest of editorial accuracy, we ask that you correct the story and replace the image with a Royal Caribbean vessel as soon as possible. 
Buck Banks
 I then sent it to five of the Fox Latino contacts and pulled another 10 email addresses for Fox News producers and editors from the main database listing.
Of course, I never heard back from anyone, but the photo was changed within a half-hour.
Considering it was Fox News, I think it might have been the line about “in the interest of editorial accuracy” that got ’em.

Leave a Reply