In this unprecedented time of COVID-19, news reports, stories and updates are released daily– if not hourly. Combine this with our new normal of social distancing, quarantines and lockdowns, and you have this news being consumed by readers almost instantly. And while many are actively searching for the latest updates, there is also an abundance of false information circulating as well. Whether you’re sharing news relating to COVID-19, or sharing articles that relate to your business’ field, it’s important to always make sure you’re relaying the most accurate information.
According to a 2019 report from the Pew Research Center, 55% of U.S. adults get their news from social media on a regular basis. It’s no surprise that, according to comScore, the number of minutes spent by readers for online news sites has increased by 46% when compared to this time last year. During a global crisis such as COVID-19, more people are steered towards digital platforms for information. With more time on our hands and more uncertainty hanging in the air, we are eager to learn the latest updates. No matter what your business chooses to share, it’s crucial that your article is coming from a reputable source.
For example, there have been endless email forwards, links, and articles all claiming to contain Coronavirus “information.” However, the content of these digital forms are oftentimes incorrect, leading to false hope or even widespread panic. Both from a personal and business standpoint, it is our responsibility to share only viable, reputable information. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are examples of legitimate sources whose purpose is to inform, not to rack up clicks. No matter what kind of news you share, your news source directly correlates with the authority of your business, so choose wisely.
When sharing news for a business, it’s also best to make sure the article you’ve selected is more factual rather than opinionated. While there are great Op-Ed pieces out there, you’re posting on behalf of a company. This means that you’re representing far more people than yourself alone, so it’s best to stick with the facts and leave the opinion articles for your own personal posts.
Finally, when it comes to sharing information, make sure you’re doing your research. Ask yourself the following questions:
Am I informed about the topic at hand?
Have I understood what I’ve read?
Sometimes articles can take an unexpected turn, so it’s incredibly important to read the news in its entirety and to make sure you’re fully aware of what you’re about to put in front of your audience. Even certain hashtags may have underlying meanings or connections to different campaigns that you’re unaware of. Media hype, false information and “fake news” are all around us. Do your research, seek legitimate information, and make your business an expert in your field.