As a business owner, you don’t want your brand tarnished by perpetuating fake news.
You could do this by sharing posts on social media that you do not actually know to be true or posting new content that may include statistics that have not been verified or a link to a site that may contain untruths.
If you want the media to take you seriously and look to you for valuable comment or input into a story they are writing, then what you produce for publication needs to be genuine and real news, not fake news.
Likewise customers/clients should be turning to you for expert advice so you don’t want them to see you are taking shortcuts and relying on false evidence. That’s one easy way to lose them and harm your reputation.
We are all publishers these days with our blogs and newsletters (if not, you should be!) so it is up to you, the author, to fight fake news.
Please ensure your article is accurate and your own or your team’s work, and accompanying images are not copyrighted by someone else. There’s a host of royalty-free photographic sites so you can choose from millions of images that only cost a few dollars to use.
An article published in The Age recently reported that an expert witness in a lawsuit ‘copied and pasted’ parts of his evidence with giving attribution. I would doubt he may be asked again to give his expert advice. You can read it here:
In summary, here are my five tips to help stop fake news and protect your brand:
1. Write your own content based on your skills and knowledge, ie no plagiarism. If you do want to quote someone, ensure they are properly cited.
2. Fact-check everything, ideally against multiple sources, and select sources for supporting data and links that adhere to ethical standards and truthful journalism.
3. If you are unable to verify a fact, leave it out to avoid possible criticism (or at worst, legal action).
4. Continue to be authoritative to ensure your brand maintains its strong reputation.
5. When pitching to the media, where necessary include reference links so they can verify statements and statistics. They want to know it’s real news not fake news.
Every organisation today is in the business of content marketing and the media, influencers and bloggers can help get your messages communicated to thousands more people.
So make it a real, genuine story that adds value to the current conversation or start a new conversation, but base it on facts not fake news.
If you need help in fact-checking, creating new content or pitching your content to the media, please get let me know. We’d love to help you. Complete the contact form here.
A video of an edited version of this blog can be viewed on our YouTube channel here (just click on the image):
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