Fake news had always been there in the picture, but the digital age has boomed its impact up to a severe extent. From fake news sites to unqualified sources of fake stories, all such fraudulent activities are a serious threat to the Public Relations (PR) industry.
If it’s vital for the PR firms to ethically persuade the target audience towards their clients, then safeguarding the public’s trust and media outlets from getting eroded by fake news also becomes a part of their must-to-do duty. PR professionals need to understand that their profession will survive only when good journalism thrives. For this reason, PR experts need to be more critical regarding this issue and hold them more accountable to tackle this problem of fake news with utmost seriousness and dedication like never before.
And here are the several ways with which you can do it:
Carry forward the real news: PR professionals and experts should realize that there is much more than securing a blockbuster hit. The first priority of every PR Agency must be to deliver real news which in turn provides real value to both the journalists and the readers. The professionals working in PR firms need to take much more accountability for the spokespeople and stories they are pitching in for. The more authentic the story is more becomes the chances of securing coverage in great numbers and the relations in the media industry becomes much healthier and safer.
Use the real and authentic sources: It’s true that a mention in the hit story will gain great exposure for the brand, but using the newsjacking tool as an excuse to proffer unqualified spokespeople is not an ethical thing to do. Clearly get it into your mind, that it’s the deep expertise and knowledge of the particular industry that could broaden the scope of public’s knowledge. This is the only way to put the best use of the media opportunities and make a win-win situation for both the PR and the journalism.
Use contacts to do good only: Anyone working in the PR industry is familiar with the fact that fake news holds in more power to get spread easily. They do get spread easily but when the fakeness gets unveiled it hampers the reputation and image of the industry as a whole. So, being a PR professional dedicatedly working in the industry, it becomes a necessity to dismantle it at the earliest. The PR professionals should not wait for others to bring a change instead, they themselves need to discourage the fake news amongst their media contacts and help in ensuring journalism free from unnecessary clutter and garbage.