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3 tips for operating in a post-truth world

January 25th, 2017 - Posted by Emili Barwick in Information Trends, Media Monitoring

In an already confusing landscape of post-truth and fake news, this week President Trump's administration has added to the quagmire through use of the phrase 'Alternative Facts'. With the public becoming more sceptic building trust and credibility is more important than ever and communications professionals need the right tools and strategies to navigate the changing dynamic. Reputation has never been so valuable, nor so easily lost.

To help we've produced a short and pragmatic new guide: Operating in a Post-Truth World, and in this blog we share three ways communications professionals can manage reputation in the post-truth world.  We've also 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.

1. Take an 'always on' approach

The post-truth world requires constant attention.  From fake news stories to angry customers, a business' 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 organisation 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 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 organisation and a crisis created by the organisation.

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.

"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

3. Harness emotion authentically

Whilst 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 intelligence 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

Next steps

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

Our innovative technology and premium content includes traditional and social media, and will help you funnel all the information into one easy to use platform to ensure your organisation does not miss a thing. Transform information into actionable intelligence to help you monitor your brand and manage your reputation effectively in the post-truth world.

Want to find out more?

Read our article: Operating in a post-truth world, call us on 0207 400 2809 or email nexisinfo@lexisnexis.com to find out how our Media Intelligence Suite can support your business in facing this challenge.

What do you think?