The use of the term “fake news” has exploded since the recent presidential campaign.
Yet two experts with deep experience say the reputational damage caused by false stories is nothing new and that every organization should prepare to combat misinformation.
The two will speak at Ragan’s PR and Media Relations Summit in New York City from April 5–7.
Post-factualism has been around for a long time, Barger says. The problem is that people are wired to believe and respond to negative information, making it harder for organizations to tamp down the flames of rumor-mongering.
Procter & Gamble Co. had to battle false rumors in the 1980s that its logo was a satanic symbol, Barger notes. Tommy Hilfiger said last fall he is still burned by a two-decade-old viral lie that he had made racist comments on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”