NEW YORK: A study conducted by Burson-Marsteller's research unit found that 81% of internet opinion leaders report forwarding via internet a rumor or other piece of unsubstantiated information about a company, a brand, or top executive to their friends, family, or colleagues in the past year.
Yet despite the appearance of rumormongering by these so-called "e-fluentials," Burson found them to be a skeptical crowd.
The study discovered that 86% of these people attempt to confirm these rumors from news websites, while 73% turn to a company's website to confirm hearsay.
Burson said that such findings should be encouraging to companies because they demonstrate that rumors can be controlled before they spread.
"This is encouraging news for companies, which have the ability to control the information about their enterprises, and respond to individuals' questions," said Idil Cakim, Burson-Marsteller's director of knowledge development.
Burson also explained that it was promising news that 28% of e-fluentiuals said they would listen to a company's management when trying to confirm rumors.