This roundtable discussion is provided by the IPR Measurement Commission

Members of the IPR Measurement Commission gathered virtually to discuss disinformation in the evolving communication landscape. IPR Measurement Commission member Chelsea Mirkin, Head of Global Analysis at Cision, and Antony Cousins, Executive Director for AI Strategy at Cision, moderated the discussion.

Participants discussed how the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) is impacting disinformation and how PR professionals can advise the C-suite on how to respond to disinformation threats.

Key themes from the discussion include :

— Disinformation was defined by the group as information that was shared with the intent to mislead.
—- Misinformation was defined as false information that was shared because the communicator genuinely believes the false content, with no intent to mislead.
—– Misinformation is the symptom of a larger problem. Disinformation is the spark of the inaccurate content.
— Public relations professionals should be proactive and control the narrative so when disinformation does spread, the company is able to show the process and the facts to correct the information.
— Truth is an interpretation; describing content as “accurate” or “inaccurate” as opposed to “mis-/disinformation” or “false information” can establish the difference between opinion and accuracy.
— Disinformation makes output measures less relevant and should lead communicators to question if the metrics are listening in the right places.
— Generative AI will have a large impact on disinformation. Experts agreed that it is essential for communicators to make sure that data are correct when using generative AI tools.
—– Tracking this data is an increasingly important responsibility.
—– People are needed to measure model accuracy and intercede if the information is wrong.
— While trust in media has decreased, it’s important not to cast blanket statements over all forms of media.
—– In the U.S., local media is a trusted source. PR professionals should be selective when it comes to the channels they use for building reputation.
— The U.S. is only a small entity on the global scale, and global brands need to consider different societies when determining their sources.
—– General sentiment toward AI differs depending on the country.
— Prioritization is key to combatting disinformation; what does the company prioritize and what could damage its reputation?
—– Occasionally, responding to disinformation can make it a bigger issue than it was originally.
— Communicators should measure media channels as well as consumer mindsets, and analyze the gap between them in order to discern which topics drive outcomes.
—- This analysis highlights the difference between what the media is saying and how consumers are interpreting it.
— When monitoring topics, it’s important to discern when a conversation involving disinformation is attracting less informed groups and when it is attracting experts.
—– Public relations professionals can show data to guide misinformed experts before the issue is shared on a larger scale.

Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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