At C&B, we always let the facts do the talking. Why would our industry reflect anything else?
Fact checking is key. In my previous blog post, I spoke about the birth of fake news and the negative impact it is having on the PR industry – How do we trust journalism again?
It’s all about the community. For a brand, building trust and establishing its pseudo ambassadors is crucial to what it does in the communication industry — communicate and influence. Consistency, for example, is one of the most impactful strategies to maintain prior to addressing and refuting fake news. Ensuring that a brand offers credibility through its communication is vital to establishing its presence and influencing its audience to be part of the ‘cult’, per se.
In the era of fake news and #AlternativeFacts, it is of utmost importance to understand the responsibility of fact checkers. They provide absolute realities as they scrutinise the truth and offer validity to journalistic claims without the intention of undermining others.
Taking Facebook, one of the largest social media networking platforms as an example, it’s always a challenge to identify fact versus opinion. A study conducted by Walter Quattrociocchi’s team worked around the premise that people feed off of scandals or pre-determined world views and seek to verify what they claim to know. The study covered over 413 groups on Facebook with names like ‘ScienceDaily’ and other candid names that offered one-sided opinions. People tend to join such groups in search of information that confirms their beliefs. Based on the research, the team reached the conclusion that online fact checking is a risky business.
Sometimes, online fact checking is the only source available as our disposal. As much as I hate to admit it, libraries are a thing of the past; Google and Wikipedia are leading the charge now. When it comes to Google, the links we refer to need to be reliable whereas with Wikipedia, the content is open to alteration and editing by any user.
Weigh your fact checking options well!
Riya Vatnani is Account Manager at Cicero & Bernay Public Relations, an independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA region. | www.cbpr.me