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Fake News and Non Starters

Sultans of spin, spin doctors, spinmeisters: Words used, all too often, to describe PR professionals.

Happily, not words you could ever use to describe the team at cofinitive. Far from it. And, I have to say, much to the confusion of some wannabe clients.

One of the hardest things we have to do as PR experts is tell a client (current or wannabe) that ‘the story’ they want us to pitch to the media and publicize, well, isn’t a story.

But telling the truth is something we, at cofinitive, never shy away from doing – even if it sometimes means having to turn down a job. For us, it’s a matter of integrity. We never deal in alternative facts. We only deal with facts. And we don’t do spin.

Put it this way, if a journalist was to stage a news event, can you imagine the outcry?

So, if a client asks us to dress up what quite clearly isn’t a newsworthy story to tout round various media outlets, isn’t that the same thing?

We think so.

If a story is a non-starter to begin with, no amount of brilliant writing round or excellent media relations is ever going to change that. You can’t, as the hackneyed saying goes, make a silk purse out of a pig’s ear.

And, if you have to spin a story in order for it to be a story, you really shouldn’t be doing it in the first place. The lines between fact and fiction should never be blurred for the sake of exposure.

At cofinitive, we’d rather be upfront and tell you the truth. It’s one of the key reasons people come to us. We have a reputation for straight-talking. You may not always like what we tell you; but that’s never going to stop us telling you. Because we only ever have your best interests at heart.

We could take your money, and roll out a non-starter story, but that damages our relationship with journalists who trust us – and, I’m afraid, that just doesn’t work for us.

And if we propose a ‘re-nose’ and you don’t take our advice, please don’t be shocked if we then decline to circulate it.

In a world full of fake news spreading like wildfire, we, as communications professionals, can at least act responsibly and push back on fake news and non-starters. We can be authentic.  We can decide what conversations we join, what we say for ourselves and additionally what we say on our clients’ behalf. And critically we retain integrity of content with the hundreds of news placers with whom we work.

If you’d like to know more about how we can help you develop an impactful integrated comms strategy, drop us a line today.