Check yourself before you wreck yourself, WSJ

Last week, Merrill Lynch achieved a rare goal: They got the WSJ to run a correction on a front page article. The correction was...

Last week, Merrill Lynch achieved a rare goal: They got the WSJ to run a correction on a front page article. The correction was a pretty big event, with coverage on the Dealbook blog, The Dealbreaker.com, and Reuters. Merrill COO Gregory Fleming also talked it up in an internal memo (also on the Dealbook site).

How did Merrill accomplish this feat? Merrill's communications team were tight-lipped, with a media relations spokesperson only saying in an e-mail, "Merrill Lynch released two statements the day the article appeared denying the accusations in the story. Over the next two weeks, the firm held a series of meetings and calls with the editorial and legal staff of the Wall Street Journal to explain why the story was wrong and to press for a correction."

The situation shows how important media monitoring is, the critical role that communications professionals play (the story could've been very damaging at a time when Merrill is already vulnerable), and that even the WSJ can make the occasional error.

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