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October 9, 2015
PR's Opportunity: Be on Reality's Side
The Internet and social media are giving PR people added reason to value truth and credibility: Those virtues can be faked, as the Columbian Chemicals “explosion” showed last year, as discussed  in a CyberAlert media monitoring post.

Twitter users and news outlets were covering a “disaster” that wasn’t happening. A faked photo spurred them on.

“It was fake. Columbian Chemicals quickly distributed a press release reporting no problems at the (Centerville, LA) plant. ‘It was a highly coordinated disinformation campaign, involving dozens of fake accounts that posted hundreds of tweets for hours, targeting a list of figures precisely chosen to generate maximum attention,’ the New York Times stated.”

This represents an opportunity for public relations people to understand and demonstrate how important truth and credibility are a world increasingly prompted by digital and social media.

Study Columbian Chemicals, the “disaster” that didn’t happen, and resolve to be a PR person on reality’s side. You’ll be appreciated for it.

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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