There was fake news and now we’ve moved onto alternative facts. Media coverage of Spicer’s comments on the attendance for President Trump’s inauguration numbers and his declaration he lost the popular vote by three to five million due to illegals voting is a real time reminder of how quickly and easily one can be put on the defensive. When your message is not factual and people perceive you’re disingenuous, you lose control of it.
In this social and digital age, content has the potential to go from zero to viral in a click of a button. As content enthusiasts, it’s what we aspire to do for our clients, however, at the heart of effective communications is trust and relationship building, when those begin to fray your audience can turn against you can quickly. Thanks to social channels, discontent of one can become millions within minutes.
These tidal waves in our distribution channels remind us how high the stakes are. Getting your message right is key and having your audience trust you is critical to successful outreach.
In today’s climate, facts matter. I was happy to see Chuck Todd’s push back on Kellyanne Conway. “Alternative facts are not facts they’re “false hoods.” I was disappointed Spicer’s poor defense of President Trump’s voting fraud statement had no sources to support his claim. What should be black and white in journalism is morphing into a gray area that shouldn’t exist.
Whether you’re a journalist, a marketer, a content strategists, a designer or a communications professional, if you produce content keep to the facts. If we want to continue to engage our audiences in and open and authentic way, this expectation must be met. Moreover, if we fail to meet this standard, our audiences will challenge us and they will publically call us out. Let’s not pave the road to crisis communication mode. When our content, starts with the facts, comes from a place of integrity and is open to discussions, the waters are less muddy.