Broadcast Public Relations and the Problem of ‘Fake News’

The term ‘Fake News’ has taken a hold on public consciousness. It has become a common consideration for Americans consuming news online, or anywhere else for that matter.

According to a new study from the Pew Research Center, ‘more Americans view made-up news as a very big problem for the country than identify terrorism, illegal immigration, racism and sexism that way.  Additionally, nearly seven-in-ten U.S. adults (68%) say made-up news and information greatly impacts Americans’ confidence in government institutions, and roughly half (54%) say it is having a major impact on our confidence in each other.’

While these statistics show something alarming about the state of news in the country, they hold special considerations for those in the business of producing broadcast public relations, like Satellite Media Tours and Cooperative Media Tours.

At 4media group, broadcast public relations are in our DNA, and we take the problem of fake news as a serious one that must be combated at every opportunity. Here are three ways to ensure you’re doing your part to put real news into the world – even if it’s for a paying client.

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1. Use a Real News Hook

We see brands and other broadcast PR firms that too often lean simply on product references. When a satellite media tour is being broadcast on a station, if a person feels that they’re being exclusively advertised to, they may lose confidence in the message. That’s why it’s of paramount importance to use a real news hook. Hooks can be created in more than one way. Take a product’s theme and apply it to a real issue. Look at a situation through a more macro lens before you dive into the specifics, to make sure you’re distributing information that’s of value to the client and the public.

2. Do Your Research

One of the biggest boons to building a news story is strong research. That’s why 4media group leans so heavily on its in-house research arm, Atomik Research, to craft PR surveys that can be utilized as news hooks in Satellite Media Tours. The results of research are foundational to strong story building, and the fear of fake news calls for real research-oriented results now more than ever.

3. Embrace Transparency

In broadcast public relations, transparency is important at every step of the process to ensure the news you’re helping to make is honest in its aims. Working with a spokesperson to ensure brand mentions are based in genuine news value is of paramount importance. Not only will that reflect better on the brand, but it can serve to build even greater public trust.

In an age of fake news, broadcast public relations professionals have a responsibility – as much as journalists – to ensure that they’re engaging in informing the public in a meaningful way. Just because a placement is paid, doesn’t mean it should serve merely as an advertisement.

Do you need help putting on the perfect SMT in the age of fake news? Reach out, and we’ll give you something genuine to talk about!

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