News Veracity Ratings Service NewsGuard Diversifies Into PR, Public Affairs

News veracity ratings service NewsGuard is diversifying into reputation management, unveiling a deal this morning to integrate its data on the trustworthiness of news sources with Pulsar, a platform analyzing social media conversations and sharing, news, search and other data to help brands, agencies, PR, public affairs, NGOs and governmental organizations understand how different audiences are influenced, as well as spread information.

Significantly, Pulsar develops audience segmentations that enable its users to develop insights as well as strategies, executions and tactical responses based on where they stand.

As part of the integration, Pulsar will integrate NewsGuard’s credibility ratings into its audience intelligence platform, enabling users to factor the veracity of the news sources they are accessing and/or distributing in order to develop responses.

“Misinformation narratives pollute public opinion every day, but they can be hard to identify just by looking at the content,” Pulsar Co-Founder and CEO Francesco D’Orazio said in a statement announcing the deal. “The context, such as the credibility of the news source, often gives clear hints. Pulsar has a long history of adding context to the content we see online, and this partnership with NewsGuard adds another crucial piece of background to help PR professionals and marketers stay ahead.”

Importantly, D’Orazio said Pulsar analysis enables its users to develop explicit tactical responses to sources of misinformation, including whether a brand or organization should even respond at all, or whether engaging would draw more attention and help spread false information.

Pulsar already lists some of the world’s biggest marketers as well as agencies such as BBDO, Havas, m/SIX, Ogilvy, OMD and Y&R among its customers, and also works directly with government agencies and NGOs.

D’Orazio noted that it has been working closely with the World Health Organization to help understand and address vaccine hesitancy, including the spread of misinformation around it.

NewsGuard has already made inroads with big agency holding companies, especially the media-services divisions of Interpublic, Publicis and Omnicom to incorporate its ratings to develop inclusion and exclusion lists for buying news and information media.

The diversification into PR, public affairs, as well as national securities agencies is a logical next step, noted co-CEO Steven Brill.

In particular, he cited a “misinformation fingerprints” analysis that NewsGuard has developed to help its customers understand how misinformation spreads across the internet.

NewsGuard recently made some of that data -- showing how Russia has been creating false narratives as part of its justification for invading Ukraine -- public in order to help journalists and others analyzing the conflict.

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