I bet you think this post is going to be all about the presidential race and politics, right? Wrong! It’s actually about documentaries. Kind of. Regardless of the context, consider this a crash course in business fact checking 101.
I enjoy a wide variety of films, including documentaries. I’m not naive enough to believe that these movies are completely unbiased. However, they’re usually pretty thought-provoking, at the very least.
After Netflix released Making A Murderer last year, I was really interested to see how they handled their latest project, Amanda Knox. While I’m not going to talk about the details of the case specifically, I can say that I was shocked and surprised at how quickly the media latched on to false or “less than true” material. The results were tumultuous and widespread. Therefore, it’s important to discuss how you present information from a business standpoint.
Fact Checking Reason #1 – Because You Can’t Stop A Moving Train
A few months ago, I wrote a blog series on keeping your kids safe with their social media use. Part of it includes the toothpaste analogy. It’s meant as a visual example for children: just as you can’t put toothpaste back into a squeezed tube, you can’t take words back once they’ve been said or written. The same concept works in a business setting, as well.
It’s all too easy to post something in anger, frustration, or boredom. However, once you say or write something, those words are immediately associated with your business. Regardless of whether or not you delete a post, the Internet is forever. People can take screenshots, videos, or other documentation.
Fact Checking Reason #2 – Because Your Reputation Matters
Providing unverified, suspect, or flat-out false information can irreparably ruin your reputation as a company. In reality, providing conjecture and speculation can be just as detrimental as an outright lie. Rather than providing bad information, it’s far better to say “I don’t have the answers right now, but I’m looking into it.”
Trying to backtrack and deal with the fallout of errors can be time-consuming and expensive. Remember that maintaining a neutral standpoint while investigating the truth of a situation is your best option. Distributing incorrect information can be extremely embarrassing, too.
Fact Checking Reason #3 – Because Your Business Deserves Better
You have worked hard to establish your business as a market leader. With that position comes a level of authority, responsibility, and credibility behind what you promote. This includes all of the content you provide, whether spoke, written, or implied. These activities include adding pages to your website, posting on social media, or speaking at an event.
Regardless of the situation, as an industry leader, the information provided by you and your company is taken at face value. Your client base and vendors believe your words. It’s critical to provide transparent, verifiable, and truthful information to continue that rapport.
The team at SDB works with you to create the sort of content that your customers can trust. You need a partner like that.
(we’re also well-versed in random information about popular documentaries, too!)