Rebutting False Information

By Guy Higgins

A recent online post from the Association for Psychological Science delivered, I think, a critical message for organizational leaders. You can read that post here. The gist of the post is that you can’t overcome false or fake information simply by denying it. You need to counter-argue it credibly and in detail.

I think that almost everyone has seen cases of people holding on to beliefs based on erroneous, false or outright fake information. The people holding those beliefs are, in the main, not stupid people, but they are people who have all the human tendencies and biases. Overcoming those tendencies and biases is hard and requires some hard work and intelligent planning. It cannot be done ad hoc. Continue reading

Communicating in a Crisis – Tarnishing Or Burnishing Your Brand

By Guy Higgins

On December 28th, AirAsia flight 8501 was flying from Surabaya to Singapore when it disappeared from radar.  The disappearance of AirAsia 8501 immediately brought to mind Malaysia Airlines flight 370, which disappeared on March 8th of last year.  While there has been no resolution of the fate of Malaysia Airlines 370, we now know that AirAsia flight 8501 crashed and all aboard were killed.

Both of these losses were immediate crises for the respective airlines, both affected over one hundred families and both drew enormous public attention.  However, the effectiveness with which the two airlines responded to these crises and communicated with the public, the families of passengers and the authorities differed enormously. Continue reading