The word “fake” is a term used to describe or imply something which is not real. Something or someone creating something to appear like it or they are something they or it are not.
Just because a business is using social to imply something doesn’t mean it is the something it tries to be by s imply using social media.
The growth of social media is being driven by two dynamics: 1) human interaction, social and 2) use of media. It is the combination of 1 & 2 that exposes “fake” attempts to imply something that is not real.
In the past individually and organizationally you could “fake” something and a few would know your faking. Today, given the inter-connection of the audience, when you do something fake everyone knows, at the least many more than previously.
When Fake Intentions Are Exposed
In a Business Week Article title “The Fakery of CEOs Undercover” Walter Kim writes: Undercover Boss from CBS, in which leaders of big companies must toil for a few days as lowly employees of their own business, is a new series whose theme is sensitivity but whose method, as usual, is humiliation. As suits our recessionary period, the show purports to champion the little guys by letting them have at the big guys.
The show tilts our sympathies toward the meek and mild by showing how they adapt to corporate policies that often appear demeaning, counterproductive, and puzzlingly unnecessary. Meanwhile, the mighty ones who make these policies are forced—mop in hand, so to speak—to suffer their consequences.
Undercover Boss is entertaining precisely to the extent that it’s dishonest. The fraudulence peaks with its messianic mythmaking, but its faux populism is the true sham. Because the series’ very existence requires cooperation from the executives that it purports to make suffer for their sins, it has to raise them higher, in the end, than it found them at the start. If it doesn’t, they’ll stop volunteering for their fake lashings and ritual redemptions. “Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss,” sang The Who. However he chooses to hide it, scuff it up, or beg forgiveness for misusing it, the power is still his. And that’s reality.
The other reality is that the people , formally known as the public audience, have reach and extended relations that expose fake intentions. The price of exposing “fake intentions” for a business long term are significant compared to the short term gains obtained from using social media for marketing and advertising. You can create a fake “reality“, as implied by the Business Week article, but the new reality will damage “public relations”.
Public relations are no longer the words, actions, marketing and news created and produced by the “corporation” rather it is the response created by people formally known as your audience. Changing your message and your methods won’t fix “fake intentions”. Changing management intentions, methods and the ecosystem of your business to truly be “social” is the only way to avoid “fake” attempts to build public relations.
You have to change the input to change the output. Messaging and media alone can not avoid the risk of fake intentions and the subsequent reaction from the “public’s relations“.
Brian Solis coined the term PR 2.0 (Putting The Public Back in Public Relations) in recognition of what is needed to make the transformation. Brian is the foremost thought leader behind these emerging dynamics.