Home – 3 Tips for Operating in a Post-truth World

3 Tips for Operating in a Post-truth World

Posted on 02-02-2017 by Megan Burnside

 In an already confusing landscape of post-truth and fake news, President Trump's administration recently added to the quagmire by using the phrase 'Alternative Facts'. With the public becoming more skeptical by the minute, reputation has never been so valuable nor so easily lost. Building trust and credibility is more important than ever and communications professionals need the right tools and strategies to navigate the changing dynamic. 

We've asked industry experts for their views and advice - scroll down for exclusive insights from Claire Foster, Deputy Head of News, Direct Line Group, Catherine Turner, Head of PR, Co-operative and Nora Senior, Executive Chair, Weber Shandwick. Here are three ways communications professionals can manage reputation in the post-truth world.  

 1. Take an 'always on' approach

The post-truth world requires constant attention. From fake news stories to angry customers, a business's media profile requires constant monitoring and evaluation. Remember, it is not your profile you are monitoring, but your reputation. Funnel all the information into one manageable place to ensure your organization does not miss a thing. Automating this process makes managing things like licensed content, subscriptions and redistribution rules simple. Listening to social 'chatter' can help you identify exactly what is being said about your company, brand and competitors.

"Most importantly, you should always do the right thing – for your customers, your business, your shareholders."

- Claire Foster, Deputy Head of News, Direct Line Group

2. Know when to react, and when to stay back

The traditional PR / communication decision of whether to intervene or hold back and let a story run its course is more important than ever.  With social media, it is not just about when, but how you intervene. 

Social media crises generally fall within one of two categories: a crisis created for the organization or a crisis created by the organization.

A humorous manner can help to avoid a PR disaster, but tone of voice is key – push the boundaries without breaking them.  The approach can be extremely successful, often generating thousands of views and shares, but it is high risk versus high reward. An authentic and sincere response is always a smart approach.

"Businesses need to build trust. Humility is now the new green among chief executives. Communication needs to be led by leaders of the business, explaining what their companies stand for and why it is important to hear what they have to say."

- Nora Senior, Executive Chair, Weber Shandwick

Learn more about tracking negative news during a crisis. 

3. Harness emotion authentically

While the post-truth trend presents some difficulties, it also presents an opportunity. Savvy brand managers can boost a company's reputation by harnessing audience emotion, but only if this is done authentically. 

Using media monitoring software makes listening for the right signals, trends and opportunities easy. These insights enable you to engage authentically through communicating the right message, to the right segmentation of your audience, at precisely the right time.  Analysis of your network can also give visibility over specific parts of your audience, helping you identify and engage with key influencers in a landscape that is increasingly non-linear. 

"The core purpose of PR hasn't changed. We remain focussed on protecting, promoting, and enhancing reputations – holding our clients and business to account and bringing the voice of the outside world in. The need for PR exists, but as the delivery tools and ways of working change, it's up to us to adapt to remain relevant."

- Catherine Turner, Head of PR (Insurance, Funeral Care and Legal Services), Co-operative          

Communications professionals that can harness emotion using a fact-based approach will build stronger brand reputations in the post-truth world. LexisNexis Newsdesk® and our expert consultants can help you monitor conversations to identify exactly what is being said about your company and brand.

3 Ways to Apply This Information Now

  1. To help our UK team produced a short and pragmatic new guide: Operating in a Post-Truth World.
  2. Download an ebook on Crisis Management to learn more tips and best practices.
  3. Keep up with the media buzz with a media monitoring and analytics solution like LexisNexis Newsdesk®.  

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