Report: More than half of PR pros are willing to create fake news

A Bospar study revealed that the majority of communicators shun unethical behaviors such as lying, cheating and stealing, but many are willing to write click-bait headlines and tell white lies.

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PR pros tout truth and transparency for their organizations and clients, but more than a quarter of them will use dishonest measures to achieve their goals.

A survey of PR pros by Bospar and Propeller Insights revealed that the majority of PR pros (roughly 75 percent) believe that cheating, lying, stealing and taking credit for other people’s work are dishonorable actions. Nearly the same amount (72 percent) said that creating “fake news” is wrong.

However, 28 percent of PR pros are willing to manufacture news if push comes to shove.

In addition, more PR pros are willing to potentially cross an ethical line when it comes to particular elements of fake news: More than half are willing to tell white lies (54 percent) or use click-bait headlines (55 percent). Fifty-one percent don’t think it’s wrong to sensationalize news that is otherwise dry or boring.

This mindset can cast PR pros in a negative light and further erode relationships between consumers and brand managers—as well as PR pros and reporters.

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