Report: More than half of PR pros are willing to create fake news – Info PR

PR pros tout truth and transparency for their organizations and clients,
but more than a quarter of them will use dishonest measures to achieve
their goals.

A survey of PR pros by Bospar and Propeller Insights revealed
that the majority of PR pros (roughly 75 percent) believe that cheating,
lying, stealing and taking credit for other people’s work are dishonorable
actions. Nearly the same amount (72 percent) said that creating “fake news”
is wrong.

However, 28 percent of PR pros are willing to manufacture news if push
comes to shove.

In addition, more PR pros are willing to potentially cross an ethical line
when it comes to particular elements of fake news: More than half are
willing to tell white lies (54 percent) or use click-bait headlines (55
percent). Fifty-one percent don’t think it’s wrong to sensationalize news
that is otherwise dry or boring.


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This mindset can cast PR pros in a negative light and further erode
relationships between consumers and brand managers—as well as PR pros and

Cision released its
2018 State of the Media
in April, which revealed that
fake news is one of journalists’ top concerns. Fifty-six percent of reporters said that fake news is making readers more
skeptical about the content they read.

The majority (71 percent) also said they thought readers have lost in
members of the news media over the last year, largely because of skepticism
over fake news.

“The profession has never been under such stressful times,”
Cision’s chief executive, Kevin Akeroyd, said.“…[B]rands and journalists must work together to tell engaging, credible
and accurate stories that will resonate with the public and continue to
help regain trust.”

PR pros’ responsibility encompasses more than just not telling lies or
stopping the tactic of sensationalizing news.

Katie Kern, marketing and PR vice president for Media Frenzy Global,
wrote in a blog post that communicators must be diligent in watching news
stories and correcting false information:

Because misinformation can spread quickly on the web, it’s essential that
PR use media monitoring services that can send real-time alerts, media
experts say. Because of the viral nature of social media, PR must be quick
in correcting misinformation when it appears.

Tabitha Jean Naylor, founder of,

wrote in a Business 2 Community article
 that PR pros must make trust a priority—and to accomplish that aim, many
should embrace influencer relations.

Naylor wrote:

… [Y]our PR strategy must incorporate influencers within your market who
have already established a high level of trust and credibility within your
target market.

Influencers can help you fight the scourge of fake news, because they have
spent years gaining the expertise and authority that consumers find

And they are also a trusted secondary source that shares your company’s
vision, which can go a long way toward mitigating the distrust consumers
feel about a lot of content they read.

Gini Dietrich, founder and chief executive of Arment Dietrich, also said that
building a strong community around your organization can help you defend
your brand against fake news—especially when a crisis hits.

However, none of these proactive measures will help PR pros who ultimately
resort to spreading false information to reach their goals.

“The best PR people will ensure their clients get coverage that supports
their business objectives, and that includes securing stories that won’t
explode later due to a serious ethics violation,” said Curtis Sparrer, a
principal of Bospar.

What do you think of Bospar’s report, PR Daily readers?

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Article Prepared by Ollala Corp

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