Crisis Comms: The Rise of Fake News

Caroline Watson, Jan 25 2017

categories: PR

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2016 was the year of the rise of fake news, as the media was compromised by inaccurate, often completely made-up news stories. From pizzagate to Pope Francis’ supposed endorsement of Donald Trump, many unsuspecting institutions and people were targeted by fake news sites.

What does the rise of fake news mean for the PR industry, which relies on people’s trust in the media? March VP Meredith Eaton tackled this subject in her latest LinkedIn Pulse piece, “The Rise of Fake News. Does PR Need to Worry?”. With the spread of fake news not showing any signs of slowing, PR practitioners need to remain steadfast in their ethical approach to the media and proactively create crisis comms plans for clients.

What do you do if you’re the target of a fake news story, and how can PR pros help? Meredith was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal’s two-part series about what companies can do when they are victimized by a fake news scam.

In the first piece, “You’re the Victim of Fake News, Now What?” crisis management executives discuss the need to be prepared to respond, as well as how to plan for a fake news event when you don’t yet know what that fake news event will be.

The second WSJ article, “Caution Required When Responding to Fake News,” focuses on what companies should take into account when crafting their response to a fake news attack. From compliance/regulatory concerns to considering the source of the fake news, companies should always be deliberate and thorough in planning their response.

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