Reality can be so much better than fiction

At a time where the phrase ‘fake news’ seems to be on constant loop we thought we’d take a quick look at exactly what constitutes fake news and touch on the more negative consequences of its existence.

Taking to one side the more playful culprits – the ‘who did what to whom’ celebrity gossip stories which feature more opinion than fact – there are three main forms which fake news tends to take:

  • Misinformation – perhaps the most serious form which has no other objective than to mislead the audience
  • Spin – information presented in a very one-sided manner which fails to identify any negative aspects or indeed present any positive features of ‘the other side’
  • Non-balanced reporting – subjectively favouring just one subject or side of a particular argument and ignoring any alternatives

The main purpose of creating fake news is generally to either enhance one’s own profile or to discredit that of another.  The publishing of falsehoods also seems to be successfully used by those wishing to generate revenue in the form of clicks or advertising opportunities.

From a business point of view, any involvement at all with ‘altered truths’ is particularly treacherous and resisting temptation is essential (even at those low points when any new potential revenue-generating streams start to look attractive).  The main damage to be caused in being associated with fake news is most definitely loss of trust, not only that of existing clients and target market but of peers and contacts – essentially everyone who will influence the future success (or otherwise) of your business.

But hasn’t PR simply always been a way of ‘bending the truth’ anyway?  Most emphatically we say No!  Certainly not if it’s done with any degree of decency.  There may have been a time in the dim and distant past where advertising statements were made with the need for a considerable pinch of salt and publicity stunts may have been a common occurrence, but we’d like to think we’ve come a very long way since then.

AT RDZ PR we’re great believers in the power of truth and we encourage our clients to find their own story.  In many cases the business journey of a company or individual is intriguing and, without the need for embellishment, will entertain and inspire others.  There may be a need to record the story in such a way as to ensure maximum engagement with the audience but that’s exactly what we specialise in. We know what works and what simply fades into the background and we like to shout (efficiently and effectively) from the rooftops about the true and amazing feats of the fascinating people we work with.

Who needs fake news when real life can produce the kind of narrative everyone wants to hear about?

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Rachel Hargrave

Rachel has over 30 years of local, regional, national and international communications experience and expertise across a wide variety of clients including FTSE 100 companies, SMEs, micro businesses and start-ups. She also has extensive charity, Not-For-Profit and Community Interest Company experience and happily offers clients working in these areas a 50% discount on all RDZ PR rates.

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