Advances in technology have created a fast changing communication landscape. This has increased the challenges facing the PR profession. It\’s understandable that CEOs remain wary of innovations in technology. For instance, they expose them to unwanted scrutiny by an increasingly critical and demanding audience.
The birth of the internet and social media have necessitated organisations entering and inhabiting these new online spaces. However, this has brought with it the realisation that online anonymity can be tricky.
“’Bad actors’ can take advantage of this freedom to target us, using and misleading us for their own purposes and deceitfully influencing our opinions,” cautions José Antonio Llorente, Founding Partner and CEO of Llorente & Cuenca.
Tapuwa Nduku-Makurumure’s recent article on fake news and leaks demonstrated the negative impact these can have on organisations.
It is not every reputational challenge that can be effectively tackled by a structured and well-meaning crisis strategy. Therefore, it is important that an organisation ensures that it behaves ethically whether in the public eye or ‘off-line.’ This should be one of the values they should hold dear anyway!
The Role of PR
Above all, PR’s role as part of an organisation\’s management team is to build mutual understanding with stakeholders.
“PR practitioners, when safeguarding their clients’ reputations, influencing public opinion or positively predisposing an audience toward certain attitudes, products or services, (should perform their roles) with honesty and transparency, based on real facts and opinions, without using deceit or device, and without invading spaces reserved for confidential or private interactions,” Llorente advises.