Jakarta, June 28, 2021 – To help brands combat threats to their reputations posed by fake news, Vero unveiled a PR playbook. This media is made to identifies the reputational pitfalls of fake news and disinformation attacks and suggests preventative measures businesses can take to protect themselves.
The playbook, which is available for download on Vero’s website, reviews the types of bad actors often behind disinformation attacks – trolls, market manipulators, and unethical competitors – and offers an analysis of the three major risk zones for disinformation attacks businesses face: activities related to the brand, such as product launches and brand ambassadors; activities related to corporate activity, such as mergers and acquisitions; and activities related to people, such as statements by executive leadership.
“We live in the age of disinformation, and in many situations, the bad actors have the upper hand,” said Vero Managing Director Brian Griffin.
“It is impossible to stop disinformation attacks entirely, so business and brand leaders should take a proactive approach to manage this threat, using careful monitoring of online conversations and communicating regularly to build trust with stakeholders in preparation for such attacks.”
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There are some well-known cases in which disinformation attacks damaged brands in Indonesia. From January 2020 to May 23, 2021, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (Kemenkominfo) revealed that 1,587 fake news attacks around Covid-19 were found on social media.
Today, much of the disinformation in Indonesia is focused on the vaccination program. Many issues are circulating that mislead people, for example, the effects of vaccinations that harm the body. It is things like this that need to be verified.
“Today, we see evidence that many Indonesians are reluctant to get vaccinated because of fake news and disinformation around how vaccines are produced and conspiracy theories related to vaccines. Moreover, fake news related to COVID-19 is just one example. There are many other risk zones for disinformation attacks. So business leaders need to protect their brands from disinformation that could negatively impact business and brand image.”
In addition to highlighting threats, the playbook also offers several suggestions to prepare for and minimize the impact of a disinformation attack: put a crisis response team in place, review vulnerable risk zones, make a list of keywords for social listening, build a reservoir of trust with consistent and transparent communication, manage owned media, be prepared to debunk falsehoods, and engage social media platforms to neutralize bad actors.
“Brands should establish owned media channels and use them to communicate clearly and consistently. This will help them build trust, ensuring their audience listens when they must defend themselves against rumors and false news stories,” said Vero Chief Communications Officer Pattanee Jeeriphab.
“Pure and simple truth, when conveyed effectively from a trusted source, has the power to both dispel falsehoods and enhance a trust – especially in this age when the truth is so hard to come by.”