Reactive Public Relations Strategies for Managing Fake News in the Online Environment
Keywords:Fake news, organization, 3D conceptual model, reactive PR strategies, communication management
The aim of this conceptual paper is to discuss the issue of managing fake news in the online environment, from an organizational perspective, by using reactive PR strategies. First, we critically discuss the most important definitions of the umbrella term fake news in order to emphasize different challenges in conceptualizing this social phenomenon. Second, employing some valuable contribution from literature, we present and illustrate with vivid examples 10 categories of fake news. Each type of fake news is discussed in the context of organizational communication. We propose a 3D conceptual model of fake news, in an organizational context. Furthermore, we consider that PR managers can use either reactive PR strategies to counteract online fake news regarding an organization, or communication stratagems to temporarily transform the organization served into a potential source of fake news. Each reactive PR strategy can be a potential solution to respond to different types of online fake news. Although these possibilities seem to be extensive, in some cases, PR managers can find them ineffective. In our view, this cluster of reactive PR strategies is not a panacea for managing fake news in the online environment and different strategic approaches may be need, such as communication stratagems. We conclude that within online environment PR managers can employ a variety of reactive PR strategies to counteract fake news, or different communication stratagems to achieve organizational goals.
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