Does Your Organization Have a Culture of “Response-ability?”

It’s a fact: people are drawn to bad news. The news media are often criticized for only reporting negative stories, but there’s plenty of research that explains why bad news and “fake news” catch our attention – and why they spread more widely than accurate information.

The inclination to spread fake news might be rooted in human nature. Novelty, emotional charge and surprise make fake news appealing to share. People are more likely to believe headlines or stories they’ve encountered repeatedly, even if unverified.

Combatting inaccurate information is an increasingly challenging task. That’s why organizations need what I call a culture of “response-ability.” Too often companies – especially large ones – simply don’t respond to troublesome posts and media stories in a timely manner. In many instances it’s because they have no clear process for assessing threats and responding to them. In others, there are simply too many people and departments involved. Global organizations are at even bigger risk when decision makers are spread across multiple time zones.

Whether an issue is real or the result of misinformation, it’s vital that you react in a matter of minutes. This can be as simple as responding on social media or issuing a press statement that acknowledges you are aware of a potential issue and are looking into it. People who are following the story will see you are part of the conversation and concerned about the matter. More importantly, the stage is set to provide accurate information as it becomes available.

It’s like putting water on a fire. The longer you wait, the bigger the fire gets. It’s the same in a comms crisis. When you delay engaging on social media and with the news media, the threat grows and becomes harder to control.

To make matters worse, the AI explosion is fueling disinformation, putting virtually every organization at risk.

Does your organization have a culture of response-ability? If not,message me today to learn how I can help you prepare for the inevitable.

Make it a winning week, team!

This Tuesday Tip-Off was written with AI help from Microsoft Copilot.