Thursday, December 11, 2014
As if the internet didn't provide enough worry for PR practitioners, here is another. Online vigilante detectives are reporting incidents faster than the news media, sometimes accurately but just as often inaccurately. It is almost impossible for a PR practitioner to keep up with them in handling an incident. For one, PR is bound by facts and not rumor, a constraint the vigilante is not held to. There is no good remedy for self-proclaimed investigative reporters on the web. The first step is to monitor them and what they are writing in their Tweets. The second step is to rebut where possible inaccuracies. But, that is a slow process, and the online detective can easily outpace those in the middle of a crisis. One dare not ignore the vigilante. The news media are paying attention to what he is writing and are reporting what he has discovered. The vigilante detective is a feeder to the mainstream press. Speed and transparency are essential in modern media relations. But as fast as a crisis communicator can operate is not fast enough.