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Apr 4, 2019

Good Information in the Age of Fake News

Age of Fake News



Today, information is seen as an absolute value. We seek to know who and what surrounds us and to make our own experiences and opinions known, in a permanent sharing that influences the reality of the media, the interaction between organizations and their public and the way we understand a highly complex context.

But information is not, in itself, an asset. As with so many other things, it is the purpose for which it is used that dictates its value to those it impacts. And in the age of disinformation, this impact can have tremendously negative consequences.

In a context where the channels for sharing information are multiplying and are accessible to almost everyone, many stories are half-told, messages are subverted, conclusions are stated without substance and alternative facts are created. We are living in the age of disinformation and fake news.

The natural result is growing mistrust. Data from the report Edelman Trust Barometer Report reveal that, throughout 2018, we have seen a decrease in trust towards four institutional aspects: NGOs, companies, the public sector and the media. For marketers in an organizational context, this issue becomes more relevant when we see that 42% of consumers say they don't know which companies to trust.

An organization that is the target of false or erroneous information faces a serious reputational risk that cannot be ignored. A solution? Convey your own message that balances public perception and draw on your network of influence - customers, partners and employees.

The goal is not merely to try to distract from the discussion around the brand, but to ensure that it is conducted and that any doubts, misunderstandings or misinformation that is knowingly spread about the organization are answered.

Should we be worried? While the current environment represents a challenge, it also presents opportunities for companies that know how to take advantage of them. The playing field is level for all brands on the market, and not only is no one safe, but the most recognized brands may suffer the effect of this type of information more often. It's not the brand that "speaks" the loudest or has the most resources that wins. Success now seems to be reserved for those brands that manage to be transparent in their actions and help their audience navigate an environment of chaos and uncertainty.

The task for everyone involved in the practice of communication is to be aware of these challenges and be prepared to counter them with a fully thought-out strategy. Whether we like it or not, this is the reality of the present, and we expect it to continue until new processes are devised to change it or the public changes the way it consumes information.

The answer to "bad information" has to be "good information" and this has to come from you. Are you doing everything possible to ensure that "good information" fills your audience's attention?



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