I am often involved in writing companies’ origin stories and narratives, but the most recent one came with an odd request – to obscure some names and details and couch them in more generic terms.
I found this odd for two reasons. First, some of the details are readily available on the company’s website, and second, they were writing the narrative to distribute to the media.
And here’s why that’s not a great idea.
Good journalists don’t just accept the information companies send them – they do some digging. They verify facts. They ask uncomfortable questions when there are discrepancies. Simply leaving out those details in the media material you distribute is not going to keep it hidden.
The very fact that you have appeared to hide something will get journalists taking a closer look at your company for all the wrong reasons.
So if you want to write your narrative and leave out the details, publish like that on your website, or in your communication to staff. Just don’t send it journalists – that’s the surest way to ensure those details will be brought out for public scrutiny.
(And P.S. Your company narrative isn’t really news anyway. It’s better as background material when there is news.)