#CercleDircom #12 – Communication Managers in the face of fakes news

What we learned from the exchange:

● Identifying the source and target of the fake news allows you to tailor your response;
● Establishing and consolidating “human bridges” with journalists helps to limit relay of fake news;
● A good internal organization can reduce the frequency of confrontation with fake news.

It is protean and ubiquitous, it is the terror of companies, in particular those
listed on the stock market ... fake news is now part of Dircom’s daily life. "There are the
malicious fake news, such as those aimed at driving down the stock market for
to steal money. There are fake news that are by activists. And finally there are the fake news
rumor-type, that is, information that is misunderstood and distorted. What is essential,
it is to identify the kind of fake news that we have to face, because this one conditions the
management ", underlines Loïck Tanguy, Chief Marketing Officer of Expresspack, member of Social
Media Club and partner of this twelfth #CercleDircom.

"Our response is that of reinformation", Fabrice Imperiali (CNRS).

Depending on companies and institutions, one type of fake news is sometimes more prevalent than one
other. This is the case at Nexem, explains Marion Le Paul, Director of Communications:
"As an employers' union for the social and medico-social sector, we are
responsible for negotiating with workers' unions. Frequently, these have
an interest in influencing the negotiations and therefore in disclosing what may have been said at the table
negotiation. We may therefore have to deal with fake news every two weeks or so.
activists. ”

The CNRS is also confronted with it, explain Brigitte Perucca, Director of the
Communication and Fabrice Imperiali, Deputy Director of Communication. This last
takes the example of animal research: "Today, research cannot do without
laboratory animals. We must manage real fake news campaigns broadcast
even in the metro, with stolen or diverted images. Our response is that of the
feedback: which animals, which protocols, which limits? »More generally, the
CNRS fights against misinformation through its own media, explains Brigitte Perucca:
“We have an internet newspaper, a magazine, etc. We do fact-checking there for
deny the fake news that present themselves as scientific, without having the means to
major media. " It was also these particular fake news that faced Elsan, a group of private hospitals for which Pénélope de Fouquières is Communications Director: “During the health crisis, fake news multiplied in the medical sector. In particular, we put falsely scientific infoxes in the mouths of doctors in our hospitals - on the discovery of an intestinal bacteria "eating" Covid-19, for example. "

"You have to pick up your phone and consolidate human bridges", Pierre Duprat

Identifying the fake news, as well as its source, helps tailor the response.
Stéphanie Abadie, Deputy Director of Communication in charge of the group's press
Casino, distinguishes between the two types of fake news used against the group: “We have
infox related to financial activity (which can sometimes be relayed by
press) and fake news related to product anomalies (these are mostly found on
social networks). To answer this, we first work in both cases on our relationship
intuitu personae with journalists. It's simple: if we are known, we are called to
verify information. Then, to fight against fake news from social networks, we
have set up a monitoring unit and a rapid decision-making chain to offer a
response and information to Internet users as soon as possible. "

Speed ​​of response is indeed essential, agrees Antoun Sfeir, President
ePressPack: "It is necessary to have a full hub with language kits
ready. Upstream, other tools can be considered. At ePressPack, we have put
place a communication box that allows our contacts to verify the authenticity of
content they receive. "Anticipating, this is indeed for Marion Le Paul (Nexem) the
key to a good communication strategy in the face of fake news. "We communicate in
upstream of negotiations with journalists and parliamentarians, and downstream with our
members who, if solicited by the press, can then respond. The important thing is
to have fast and agile information circuits. "

But even by organizing internally, the risk of fake news remains. "Anticipation does
However, it does not always allow the worst to be avoided ", relativizes Pierre Duprat, Director of
communication from Vinci, "only to allow it to happen less often." In 2016,
his group has demonstrated this. In a fake press release, crooks
announced in the name of Vinci serious errors in the accounts of the group and the dismissal
of its Chief Financial Officer. “The false information was relayed very (too) quickly by the
news agencies, and the stock market has plummeted. Yet we had already thought of our
communication to avoid this type of incident: financial press releases are
systematically sent outside of trading hours and on a secure platform.
This was not the case for the false press release, but it was not enough to attract the attention of
journalists. " For Pierre Duprat, it is necessary to draw a lesson from this episode:
"You have to pick up your phone and consolidate human bridges between communicators and
journalists. We can have all the protection systems against cyber attacks that we
wants, the only thing that is inviolable is human intelligence. ". Hence this question of
Pierre Duprat: “When a press agency relays information a few minutes before the
received a press release, did she really do the verification job? "

"In the post-truth era, emotion dominates over the objective fact", Nathalie Desaix (20 Minutes).

Indeed, the work of verification or fact-checking is an essential component of the work
journalistic. For Antoun Sfeir (ePressPack), “if fake news has been around for a long time,

fact-checking is only emerging. »Nathalie Desaix, Director of Communication and
the mark of 20Minutes, agrees: "in the post-truth era and especially on the networks
social, emotion predominates over the objective fact. At 20Minutes, we have dedicated three
journalists at fact-checking on social networks. Before, two sources were needed
concordant to a journalist to write an article. Today we require three. "
How, then, to detect and anticipate fake news? "Concretely, responds
Nathalie Desaix, we use software that allows us to see which words come up in
search engines and we are organizing a watch on these themes. We
we are also using tools (such as Conspiracy Watch or News Guard) that will help us
allow rapid identification of emerging fake news. ".

But the media are not always the relays of verified information. Stephanie
Abadie (Casino Group) thus deplores the tendency of certain internet editorial staff to write
articles based on a buzz from social networks, without always taking the time to fact-
checking. Likewise, Brigitte Perucca (CNRS) evokes the false controversies relayed
sometimes by the press: "There are, alongside excellent columnists and science journalists,
journalists who broadcast pseudo-scientific fake news. Our response must be that of
maintenance of monitoring and media training. For example, we have made a list
experts for the press. " In short, build and consolidate a controlled exchange between
CNRS scientists and journalists. This is perhaps the whole point of managing fake
news, concludes Pierre Duprat (Vinci): "putting people back at the heart of our business.". Nathalie
Desaix (20Minutes) will also discuss the fact that it is important when communicating in
period of crisis to be where people are and therefore not to think that only the mainstream media or
official and institutional sources are sufficient. Always ensure that via the fact-
checking or the corrections that are issued, we manage to reach the people who had
been exposed to the initial fake news. Otherwise, the verification / detox job does not reach
really his goal