Managing Information in a Post-Truth Era

Our final session on Managing Information in a Post-Truth Era was moderated by Tara Joseph, President of AmCham Hong Kong and distinguished panelists includes Richard Hornick, Director of Overseas Partnership Programs for the Center for News Literacy, Stony Brook University, Melissa Idris, Executive Producer for the Morning Run show, BFM 89.9 and Juergen Keitel, Chief Global Affairs Development Officer, Air Asia.

Social Media has made companies hypervigilant but the emergence of the alternative facts is now a new reality that corporate communications have to navigate. Social media has also changed the dynamic for journalism. Facts have become less influential in shaping public opinion than appealing to emotion and personal belief and that is how post-truth era works. The panel discussed how the post-truth era affects businesses and how businesses can manage the information to their advantage.

Organisations and the people should be educated with critical thinking skills to judge the reliability and credibility of information. Every new technology requires new literacy and people should investigate information instead of simply consuming, verify information before sharing and be responsible social media users.

Social media also pose a reputational risk to organisations if they do not teach their people to manage the information. It can also provide a great opportunity and drive businesses including for branding, products and the service industry as an enabler for them to connect directly with consumers.

Consumer-based companies have to be in the proactive, reactive and active mode in facing social media. This includes, having a trained team, a 24-hour digital communication centre, right internal process to rectify the messages and respond quickly with transparency.  Key to it is at all levels, from the top to the operational level to be social media savvy. Messages should be simple and straightforward while employing empathy and compassion when dealing with consumers’ complaints.

The media profession is also challenged by the noises in social media. Thus, it is important to focus and filter through the noises and keep to what is important, which are the root causes of the subject discussed.