Is Fake News Affecting Your Brand?

by Infinity Concepts | Jun 6, 2017 | Branding, Public Relations

Fake news. The phrase seems to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue these days. The President is tweeting about it — the news outlets are defensive about it — and even Facebook is at the center of the fake news debate.

But have you taken time to think about how this talk of fake news may be hurting your organization’s brand?

I know what you must be thinking…

“We take pride in being transparent and honest in our outreach and messaging! You can’t possibly be talking about us.”

You are probably right. You may even be insulted at the insinuation that someone doesn’t trust you and your brand. However, these are the times we live in and everyone is under increased scrutiny.

Now, more than ever, organizations must be aware of distrust among consumers.

In the May 8, 2017 edition of AdWeek, they polled 540 people between the ages of 18-61 and asked them if being aware of fake news changes the way they interact with digital content. Fifty-four percent said yes and 41% stated that they double check sources prior to believing what they read.

That’s a significant amount of distrust in what consumers are reading online. It appears that opinions are spilling over into areas in which opinions were not previously accepted. And those consuming the content are catching on, and they feel deceived.

Though the digital content they are discussing most certainly also includes the news, it assuredly influences business and organizational brands as well. In the same study, respondents stated that if a brand presented false information they would stop shopping that brand (59%). However, 64% are likelier to shop a brand that is truthful about its business.

If your organization has taken the appropriate steps to be transparent and forthcoming in all your communication, trust has already, or will eventually be built with your target audience. Expect the public to be cautious and careful like never before, recognizing that the trust you seek must be earned.

What we know is that trust takes time to build, but once you have it, your loyal customers will continue to come back faithfully.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. — Psalm 19:14

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