To help brands combat threats to their reputations posed by fake news, Vero, a leading PR and digital agency in the ASEAN region, today unveiled a PR playbook that identifies the reputational pitfalls of fake news and disinformation attacks and suggests preventative measures businesses can take to protect themselves
The playbook, which is available for download on Vero’s website, reviews the types of bad actors often behind disinformation attacks – trolls, market manipulators, and unethical competitors – and offers analysis of the three major risk zones for disinformation attacks businesses face: activities related to brand, such as product launches and brand ambassadors; activities related to corporate activity, such as mergers and acquisitions; and activities related to people, such as statements by executive leadership.
We live in the age of disinformation, and in many situations, the bad actors have the upper hand. It is impossible to stop disinformation attacks entirely, so business and brand leaders should take a proactive approach to manage this threat, using careful monitoring of online conversations and communicating regularly to build trust with stakeholders in preparation for such attacks, said Vero Managing Director Brian Griffin.
In addition to highlighting threats, the playbook also offers several suggestions to prepare for and minimize the impact of a disinformation attack: put a crisis response team in place, review vulnerable risk zones, make a list of keywords for social listening, build a reservoir of trust with consistent and transparent communication, manage owned media, be prepared to debunk falsehoods, and engage social media platforms to neutralize bad actors.
Brands should establish owned media channels and use them to communicate clearly and consistently. This will help them build trust, ensuring their audience listens when they must defend themselves against rumors and false news stories. Pure and simple truth, when conveyed effectively from a trusted source, has the power to both dispel falsehoods and enhance trust – especially in this age when truth is so hard to come by, said Vero Chief Communications Officer Pattanee Jeeriphab.