"Truth in Communications" was the theme of Communications Week, which ran Oct. 16-20 in New York.

From the ever-present concept of fake news to the ins and outs of influencer marketing to the new technological tools that let PR and media professionals monitor and measure a whole range of new insights, the panels covered many of the hot-button topics facing the PR industry today.

L-R: Michael Kaminer, Katie Creaser, Siobhan Aalders, Damaso Reyes and Day Linh Tu at a panel discussing fake news.L-R: Michael Kaminer, Katie Creaser, Siobhan Aalders, Damaso Reyes and Day Linh Tu at a panel discussing fake news.

A “Fake News, Emerging Tech and Reputation as Currency,” panel moderated by Michael Kaminer of the New York Observer discussed the question of branded content and its validity. 

"The longstanding media outlets we have loved for years are continuing to produce great journalism,” said Katie Creaser, VP at Affect PR. “As PR people, we need to be working with journalists who are writing genuine quality content, rather than just Buzzfeed-style news."

Joanne Lipman hosted a panel called “The Clicks Are In,” that asked if media brands should focus their attention on tending to their existing audiences instead of pandering in an attempt to broaden their scope.

A session dubbed "Leveraging Influencer Marketing While Maintaining Transparency and Authenticity" focused on how to avoid the potential pitfalls of using influencers to promote products.  "Make sure influencers are authentic, rather than just taking the check,” said Armando Triana, director of social media at Coyne PR. “You want them to be selective about who they work with and that they’re choosing the brand because it’s one they’re genuinely interested in.”

Tiffany Guarnaccia, CEO of Kite Hill PR and founder/organizer of Communications Week, said her main takeaway from the event is “that we have a shared responsibility to fix fake news. Everyone has a personal ethical responsibility in terms of how they choose to behave on the web, and ultimately this will dictate the sort of society we end up living in many years from now.”