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How to encourage the media to call your organisation by its correct name

Imagine you are being interviewed live on radio and the interviewer makes a mistake (however slight) with your organisation’s name.

TV show talk

What do you do?  You don’t want to seem rude or too fussy or precious or  “correcting”. Do you just “let it slide”?

Here’s a little technique that can help.

This post was inspired by two recent events:

1. listening to a radio interview with spokesperson from Deloitte

2. a pool party with friends

The radio interview as about a Deloitte report Positioning for Prosperity – Catching the Next Wave.


(it’s Deloitte – 1 L, 2 Ts, and no S)

The interviewer called Deloitte  -“DeloitteS” at the start of the interview – throughout the interview – and at the end of the interview.

You may say “no big deal”  and I can understand that reaction in this case with such a minor error – I’m just using this as an example so you can counter this type of problem if you need to.

What’s a pool party got to do with media interviews?

I can understand people’s reluctance to want “to correct” others. Especially with casual Australians. Many Aussie are happy to let name mistakes “got through to the keeper” (Cricketing expression about just letting things pass by).

Call me what you want- just don’t call me late for dinner!

I was very impressed with the skills of my wife recently at a gathering around a pool with friends.

Some  friends kept incorrectly calling our daughter CHLOE rather than her real name CLEO.

Instead of correcting our friends – my wife simply called out Cleo’s correct name to her in the pool.

I was about to do it – but my wife beat me to it!

The other mum immediately picked up on the correct name and started using it. The other mum even instructed her husband that the correct name was CLEO.

TB headline technique

Similarly when I train executives on how to work with the media in interviews: I cover how to handle a situation where the interviewer gets the name wrong.

In practice interviews I deliberately call the organisation by the incorrect name.

I train spokespeople to listen to make sure the organisation’s correct name is used. Often news organisations  and especially radio interviewers are so busy – they DO make name mistakes.

Often spokespeople are so focussed on their key messages – the are not paying attention to the name. Or they decide to just “let it go” – because they don’t want to correct the interviewer.

OK – what do you do?

The simple way to indirectly correct and state the correct name is to say something like:

At Deloitte (correct name)  we found that…


The Deloitte (correct name) report found that…

It’s a good habit to develop – to listen if the correct name is used and to use this indirect correcting technique.

You can even use it in social or business situations.

Let’s say one of your colleagues is calling a client Bruce – when the correct name is Bryce.

In conversation you slip in something such as:  As Bryce just mentioned, the rising Chinese Middle class can really benefit Australia’s higher education sector…

My suggestions for you:

1. Listen to names

2. Don’t be afraid to correct indirectly

3. When you use the correct name – try to make it subtle and natural. Don’t be too obvious!

4. Practice listening for names and correctly indirectly.



If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:

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I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.

I’ve disciplined my self to check ALL my different communication platforms twice a day – as part of my Check-in Ritual.



Linked In – under Tony Biancotti

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