What’s in a name? It’s your most precious asset for our PR agency

by Chris Fairbairn

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Why we go the extra mile to make sure your name – as well as your reputation – is in the safest of hands

PR in Scotland helps Director of Scotland's leading courier company overcome name mistakeCALLING out to all the people out there with weird and wonderful names … the type which are regularly misheard, mispronounced – and worst of all misspelled.

One of the first things staff learn at our Edinburgh PR agency is to always check the spelling of names, no matter how simple and obvious they may appear.

The bosses here (who are pretty old) say it is a hangover from their journalistic training back in the Jurassic period, when young reporters were reduced to quivering wrecks if they every dared misspell a name in a story.

Secretly we think it is because boss man Raymond Notarangelo has a name that nobody ever gets right – and is probably too long to get on the back of a his beloved Azzurri  football shirt.

Either way, we can’t really argue when they point out that even straightforward names like John Smith can have spelling pitfalls for the unwary. Jon Smyth, anyone?

And we all agree it would be pretty annoying to open the local paper and see your name spelled wrongly. In fact, that’s exactly what happened to Jerry Stewart of Eagle Couriers, a client of our Scottish public relations agency who has been using our PR services for many years.

A story appeared in his local weekly paper reporting his honour at being elected to Fellow of the Institute of Couriers. Unfortunately his pleasure at the report was rather short lived, since the entire article referred to him as ‘Jeremy’ Stewart.

Panic spread among the team at the offices of our Edinburgh public relations agency – had a mistake somehow made its way through our stringent sign-off procedures?

Fortunately not and Chris Fairbairn, our junior account executive, even got a phone call from the Editor of the newspaper to offer his fulsome apologies for the clanger.

Which is fair enough. News is a fast-moving business and despite the best intentions of all involved, mistakes happen from time-to-time.

Fortunately Jerry is a good sport and saw the funny side, even deciding to have a bit of fun with the name mix up.

Scottish public relations agency Holyrood PR in Edinburgh provides PR services, including website content, to Eagle CouriersRead Jerry’s light hearted blog article on the spelling error on the Eagle Couriers website.

PR in Scotland helps Director of Scotland's leading courier company overcome name mistake

We were delighted to help with Jerry’s blog by producing the wee graphic, making light of the incident while also helping driving traffic to the business website. How’s that for a turnaround?

So how does our PR agency ensure that every step is taken to avoid a mishap such as a misspelled name from occurring in a media release?

First of all, every member of team is trained to check the spelling of every name of everyone new they speak to who is to be included in a media release.

Then each draft release is checked by two members of our expert PR team – once again with a near paranoid focus on the proper spelling of names for people, places and companies.

Most importantly, though, we work with each of our clients to develop an approved sign of system that works for them – so that facts, figures and the spelling of names on each individual news release are checked and given full and final sign off by an approved member of your team.

Essential behind the scenes guide to the work of a public relations agencyPublic relations success is all about you. That means you have to be involved, from regular meetings and agreeing Key Messages to sign-off procedures. Find out how this process works in our business guide on the inner workings of PR.


All of this demonstrates that we understand how a misspelled name can undermine a good piece of media coverage, so we make it our mission to represent your company in a wholly accurate manner.

If, after all of that, something *still* goes wrong, then we’ll be here, just like we were for Jerry, to help get the most positive possible result.

And if all else fails, then here are a couple of amusing examples which show that things could always be worse!

  • Fox News reporter Geraldo Rivera (a bizarre nom de plume for somebody called Gerald Riviera) announced after the death of Osama Bin Laden that: “Obama is dead…and I don’t care!” shocking America and damaging and making himself look spectacularly stupid at the same time.
  • The Baristas at Starbucks are so notorious for spelling names wrongly that customers have even set up a dedicated blog to capture the best of them. (http://starbucksspelling.tumblr.com/)

Give your business the best public relations treatment by contacting our award-winning Edinburgh PR agency on 0131 561 2244 or by filling in the contact form below.

    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)


    Your Message

    Chris Fairbairn of Scottish public relations agency, Holyrood PR in Edinburgh

    Chris Fairbairn

    Chris Fairbairn is an Account Director with award-winning public relations agency Holyrood PR. He is part of an expert PR team delivering PR services to a wide range of clients from headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland.

    View Chris's Profile

    Related Posts

    So how can we help?

    Make an impact with PR photography

    Make an impact with PR photography

    Find out more

    Every story can be told better with pictures. Discover our affordable, high-impact photo packages.

    Benefit from business video

    Benefit from business video


    Find out how affordable video can bring a host of benefits to your business.

    If you have any comments or questions, please contact us.


    Keep ahead of your opposition by getting the free tips, insights and secrets we share for businesses. Straight to your inbox, every month.
    Email address
    First Name
    Last Name