The article certainly caught my attention. It was more than just another story about layoffs. It was a story about layoffs at an organization where friends worked! Were they safe?
I called just to make sure. The article describe such a grim circumstance. Revenues decreasing. No improvement in sight. But here was the real kicker: the endowment was down to less than a third of its original value! How could that be?
I checked with my friend and was relieved to find out she remained with the organization. Then she confirmed what I suspected to be true. Things are bad, but not as bad as the newspaper described, she said. The endowment iwas down by nearly a third, she said, instead of down to ONLY a third. The reporter got it wrong.
Anyone can make a mistake. Overworked reporters are struggling with budget cuts, numerous deadlines and the pressures of working in a struggling industry. Not to excuse the error, but it does drive home the fact that companies have to be prepared to spell out their situation in clear and concise terms. And even then, they have to be prepared to communicate a correction to the media. If you don’t, your image may go down quicker than the stock market.