Already in 2014, PR Report magazine came to the conclusion that the confidence of citizens in the traditional media landscape has been profoundly and enduringly shaken. At the very latest, since the rise of the populist movements in the Western democracies and the US election campaign, terms such as "fake news" and "alternative facts" are on everyone's lips. Ideological media and conspiracy theories are on the upswing.
In the editorial offices of many media houses, heated debates with readers and users determine daily work. In addition, reporting which, under the competitive pressure of the new media, takes place practically in real time and makes careful research more difficult is widespread. Thus, the boundaries between truth, fiction, and delusion blur and give way to a deep sense of uncertainty.
Crisis as an opportunity?
The cynic could understand this crisis as an opportunity: If everyone believes everything, then everyone can sell any information – no matter how far-fetched it is. It is no longer about the content, but the form.
The crux of this way of thinking is reflected in the change of perspective: If everyone believes only in "his/her" truth, because "real" and "alternative" facts are treated as equivalent, hardly any information can be credibly presented – no matter how valid it is.
Just like serious journalism, serious PR should not fall into this trap. At the end of the day, in both sectors, it is not about the quick click, the short-term excitement, the brightest possible flash in the pan. It is about sustainable benefit and long-term impact – strong images and messages.
It is about enduring values.
Agency Service: Crisis communication