Thursday, June 21, 2018

Keeping Online Advocacy Real in a “Fake News” Environment

Based in Washington, D.C., Ryan Shucard serves as Vice President of Media Relations with SevenTwenty Strategies and guides a full range of coordinated PR activities. Ryan Shucard stays current on industry trends within a fast evolving landscape that increasingly inhabits digital technologies. 

A recent article on the SevenTwenty Strategies blog site drew attention to “fake news” and the impact it has on advocacy groups and public perception. Unfortunately, nearly everyone has had the experience of scrolling through their Facebook feed and seeing stories that they rightly questioned the veracity of. 

Once the legitimacy of what is encountered online is routinely called into question, delivering communications that are both high quality and generate trust becomes a challenge.

Countering the fake news syndrome begins with keeping advocacy campaigns real and playing it “absolutely straight” when it comes to sourcing and distributing news. News stories that are forwarded to readers should be from recognized legitimate sources, such as The Wall Street Journal or The Washington Post. When election results are provided, make sure they come from sources trusted on both sides of the aisle, such as The Cook Political Report’s VoteWatch 2018.

Consistent quality communications will grow sizable audiences over time, rather than generate huge numbers of people who click on alarmist and fake headlines. Instead of the hyperbolic, emphasize content that engages, entertains, informs, and enlivens the political sphere.