In a time where people are constantly connected thanks to tiny supercomputers that they can carry in their back pocket, fake news is traveling faster than ever. And because it’s exactly what we want to hear, people trust fake news more than authentic news. Yes, it is a sorry state of affairs, but it’s why a public relations agency New York must develop strategies to build trust. If your company has got itself caught up in the whirlwind of fake news, here are a few approaches on how to clean up and maintain your reputation in the market.
Fake News: Coming Soon To A Social Media Platform Near You
Now, you’re probably wondering what constitutes as fake news. To clarify, it’s misinformation that’s created intentionally with the purpose of deceiving readers and tarnishing a company or person’s image. It can be circulated through social media platforms, traditional media openings, and websites.
The intention behind spreading fake news varies from one group to the next: it could be to gain a political or personal advantage. However, fake news can have real implications. Many people today have a hard time trusting the media. Even if the company or person comes forward to clear up the misconception, the trust is gone.
Virality of Fake News
Fake news tends to go viral online, where the public comes across ’viral’ news. In most cases, the news is sensationalized, which causes people to share it without considering whether it’s true. Few people stop to think whether the company it’s about is capable of making such a mistake. Before you know it, existing and potential clients know about your supposed error, making it harder for them to trust you in the future. And because of this, a company’s competitors stand to benefit.
Effect on Organizations and Individuals
Fake news is never a good symbol for individuals or organizations. Sure, the entities involved know that it wasn’t their fault, but that’s not enough, is it? It all boils down to how well they can convince their audience that they had nothing to do with the news and that the information holds no truth from any aspect. Many companies have gone through this rough patch, but coming out of it safe and sound is where the test lies.
In this situation, brands must learn from rivals who went through a similar ordeal and managed to combat misinformation. They should be prepared with proactive measures to avoid such traps and strengthen their online presence.
How to Build Trust in The Era of Fake News?
Public Relations agencies rescue companies by emerging with strategies to help them build trust in the era of fake news in the following ways:
Do You Know Your Audience?
It is necessary to know about your audience, their needs, preferences, and expectations. Understand your stakeholders, their interests, what they care about, and their way of consuming information.
Another thing is to divide your audience into segments based on their engagement, interests, and influence and deliver your messages according to the data.
When you know your audience, you can deliver timely, concise, correct, consistent information that meets their expectations and constructs affinity.
Transparency is a significant factor. Your company must be clear and open when communicating with stakeholders. This involves disclosing future plans, potential partnerships, and other goals. Provide sufficient evidence and appropriate facts to support your claims. In order to progress, you will need to acknowledge your mistakes in the market as well. Admit where you were wrong and address these shortcomings where necessary. Transparency and accountability help you display your credibility, honesty, and integrity, encouraging an open discussion that helps rebuild trust.
If your company lacked in terms of transparency, take this opportunity to start over and change your communication strategy.
Convey Your Message By All Means
You need to maintain consistent communication with all your stakeholders. For this purpose, it’s best to use different means of communication to convey your messages. How will you do it? This involves diversifying your channels, using a mix of appropriate communication tools, and, of course media to reach your audience. If you are not guilty, you should have no problems facing your stakeholders and explaining the situation. Different formats are at your disposal, like images, audio, text, videos, and creative elements to capture the client’s emotion, style, and learning.
Being present on every medium will increase your accessibility, reach, visibility, and engagement and lessen the danger of being put in the bad books.
Listen and Engage
Listen to your stakeholders and engage with their ideas. You have to unlock doors of opportunities for dialogue, collaboration, and feedback. Show your stakeholders that you value their opinions, and invite them to share their questions, opinions, and concerns. Pay attention to their discussions and respond promptly, respectfully, and empathetically so they know their presence and speech are being heard and acknowledged. This allows you to build trust, interest, loyalty, and appreciation in relationships.
Because of their role in decision-making, stakeholders are a crucial aspect of your company therefore, educate and empower them. Provide reliable, accurate, and useful information that assists them in making useful decisions, achieve goals, and solve issues. Encourage them to become media literate, critical thinkers, and active respondents in serious communication. When they’re informed, they’ll feel more confident when advocating for your company.
Assess your communication methods and evaluate their efficacy. What impact did it make? What was the outcome? Use this data and feedback to improve strategies, techniques, and messages.
While building trust in an era of fake news has become much more difficult, it’s not impossible. With the above-mentioned details, your company can move ahead.