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December 6, 2012
Citigroup's Meandering Press Release
 
The Wall Street Journal deserves a not-yet-conceived Pulitzer Prize for deciphering unduly reticent press releases. Citigroup is the villain here, with the release it issued yesterday on "repositioning actions," which the Journal translated into 11,000 layoffs. The public relations fraternity should rise as if a single aggrieved party to protest such an opaque release. Not until the end of the third long paragraph did Citi say "These actions will result in a reduction of more than 11,000 positions."

The Journal's lead? "Underlining his determination to crack down on costs, Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Michael Corbat set out plans Wednesday to cut 11,000 jobs, close 84 branches and retreat from consumer banking in a handful of countries."

Talk about giving press releases a bad name; Citi's front and center. 

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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