Fake news has morphed into a real threat for brands and companies in 2017, and leaks are increasingly troublesome in a volatile security landscape. Organizational advisory firm Korn Ferry recently released new survey results confirming that executives see these issues as real concerns—nearly half (49 percent) of respondents say the threat of leaks or fake news has increased in recent years, and 19 percent say their organization has been impacted by fake news in the last year. These execs believe false information about their company, including financials, is the biggest threat to their organization, followed by product misinformation and false information about leadership.
“This is a more disruptive world for organizations,” said Richard Marshall, global managing director for Korn Ferry’s Corporate Affairs practice, in a news release. “The threat of reputational damage due to leaks or fake news is on the rise.”
Nearly three quarters (70 percent) of execs say their C-suite leaders and boards are “concerned” or “very concerned” about the threats from leaks or fake news—and as a result, almost four in ten (38 percent) said their companies are changing or have already changed their email policies, and 51 percent say they are more careful about what they put in their own work emails.
“Organizations may have dealt with ‘alternative facts’ before, just not at the speed with which that misinformation can now travel thanks to social media,” Marshall said. “Between the leaks and fake news, it’s not surprising that organizations are doing a major rethink on their communications strategies and operations.”
There were 781 executive responses to the Korn Ferry survey, which took place in February 2017.
|How serious does your C-Suite and Board view the threats from leaks and/or Fake news?|
|Extremely concerned||33 percent|
|Somewhat concerned||37 percent|
|Not concerned||30 percent|
|Over the past 12 months, has your organization experienced leaks of sensitive information that have compromised your company, products/services?|
|Not sure||4 percent|
|Has the threat to your organization increased during the past few years?|
|Not sure||10 percent|
|Is your company considering or has it changed its email policies because of concerns over leaks?|
|If no, do you think it should?|
|Have you become more careful about what you write or put in work emails since reports of Wikileaks’ disclosures?|
|During the past 12 months, has your organization been impacted by “fake news”?|
|What type of fake news is the biggest threat to your company?|
|Product misinformation||29 percent|
|False information about the company/financials||49 percent|
|False information about leadership||22 percent|
Source: Marketwired; edited by Richard Carufel