Welcome to episode #035 of The Crisis Intelligence Podcast, with Melissa Agnes and Laurent Gaildraud.
Rumors have existed since the beginning of human behavior. A good rumor is deep-seeded and hypnotic. A good rumor can launch an organization or public figure into a crisis that is not terribly easy to manage or overcome.
But what makes a good rumor and how can your organization best protect itself from this risky phenomenon?
Within this episode of The Crisis Intelligence Podcast, I sat down with Laurent Gaildraud, a consultant who specializes in the science of rumors. Laurent’s job and passion is in explaining how to destabilize any entity (economical, political, social, etc.) by spreading rumors. It’s the opposite of my job and passion, I know! I help organizations prevent risk and manage crises, while Laurent helps people create rumors to create crises. But that fascinated me on so many different levels.
As you listen to this podcast, you’ll notice that much of what Laurent explains about the science of rumors aligns perfectly with what you’ll often hear me say makes the recipe for a crisis that has the potential to go viral. He discusses the sociological enchantment that rumors hold and why we, as human beings, can become so enthralled in them.
But the point of this discussion is to help you (and me) better understand what makes a rumor so hypnotic and how to best overcome one.
This episode of The Crisis Intelligence Podcast discusses:
- The rules of a rumor.
- How to tell a rumor from truth.
- Social media’s impact on rumors (the answer may not be what you expect).
- How rumor starters protect themselves from litigation.
- The best strategy for defusing a rumor and dissuading people from believing it.
I found this to be a fascinating discussion and I hope you do too. Enjoy!
Running time: 56:02
Learn more about Agnes + Day, The Crisis Intelligence Firm.
Thanks to Laurent for taking the time to have this fascinating conversation with me!
Author of Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World, Melissa Agnes is a leading authority on crisis preparedness, reputation management, and brand protection. Agnes is a coveted keynote speaker, commentator, and advisor to some of today’s leading organizations faced with the greatest risks. Learn more about Melissa and her work here.