Henry Ford once famously said, “Never complain, never explain.”

But in public relations, that’s sometimes bad advice if a client has been victimized in print by inaccurate reporting. If the facts are wrong or the accusations unfair, it’s the responsibility of public relations counsel to challenge a reporter to set the record straight.

Sadly, many public relations counselors and the companies they represent are reluctant to mix it up with journalists, even when a story gets the facts wrong.

But the good counselors – the ones trusted by their clients and truly knowledgeable about what their clients do – don’t take inaccurate reporting lying down.

Such a competent counselor is one Jonathan Gasthalter of the distinguished communications firm of Sard Verbinnen & Co. George Sard is one of the savviest PR counselors, and he hires good people. Gasthalter is an example.

When the consultant’s client, the investor David Einhorn who runs Greenlight Capital, became the subject of inaccurate reporting about his critical comments on the stock of Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. – Gasthalter intelligently confronted the reporter in question to correct the misinformation.

I know, because I was the reporter....

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