The latest issue of The Works, the quarterly news media audience report produced by NewsMediaWorks, is out now. This edition focuses on the industry’s ongoing battle for audience trust, dissecting the issue across several key verticals.
This issue of The Works focusses on a powerful human concept, that of trust.
If you search “trust” online, you will be rewarded by 166,000,000 results. Good luck with that.
One of my favourites comes from Rachel Botsman, world acclaimed authority on the subject of trust, and author of a recently published book, ‘Who can you Trust?’
Rachel describes trust as “a confident relationship to the unknown”.
In a recent interview she further commented: “Social scientists, psychologists, economists, and others view trust as an almost magical economic elixir, the glue that keeps society together and the economy ticking over. That much is agreed. It’s the definition of trust that has been widely debated for years. Trust is a bit like love, it has many faces”.
Rachel was the Keynote Speaker at NewsMediaWorks iNFORM Summit held in early September at the International Convention Centre in Sydney. If you would like to watch a video of part of her presentation I encourage you to visit our website: http://www.newsmediaworks.com.au/video-rachel-botsman
I’d also encourage you to read her book. And no, I’m not Rachel’s agent!
Another of my favourites was something one of the respondents to our recent Galaxy Survey said: “Trust means to me that they are being truthful about what they are saying and advertising. They need to be honest”. Not a published author, but no less eloquent.
And another respondent replied “Trust means being able to put your trust and faith in either a product or a person and feel reassured that the product will be reliable, honest and live up to your expectations”.
Trust. Faith. Honesty. Reliability. Truth. All powerful concepts which find their way into the values people adopt, and the big decisions they make in life.
When we commissioned Galaxy Research to explore trust for us, we were thinking about news media and advertising. I mean, here at NewsMediaWorks it’s our job, right?
But you never quite know what answers people, especially randomly sampled people, are going to come up with. You do hope that your research will turn up some pearls, like insights that favour your commercial narrative with findings you can exploit and publish. And of course, you get to ask the questions you want answered. But there are no guarantees.
And so we were rewarded rather than surprised to discover that consumers of news media in print and digital forms trust the content over other media. Interestingly, younger respondents even more strongly trusted news media content over other media.
Even more rewarding was the picture that emerged around advertising. This showed that not only did respondents trust the content in news media above other media, but they trusted the advertising in news media. This has been called “the halo effect” in other markets.
The statistics are interesting, and you can get right under the hood later in this issue of The Works. But I like to hear what people have to say on a subject like this. Here are a couple of telling quotes from quite young respondents to the survey.
“I feel that newspapers are more traditional and therefore more trust worthy,” said one 24-year-old man.
“Social media is very anonymous, so anyone can publish ads,” said one 22-year-old woman.
A more seasoned campaigner, this time aged 54: “So many frauds and scammers on social media at the moment and really no way to be sure the advertisement is legit or not”.
We certainly had the sense that trust was a bedrock quality of news media. It was great to see the hard evidence!
Finally, it is revealing to see how that quality transfers to consumer’s confidence in advertising and their likely responsiveness to our advertisers’ messages.
Go on. Get under the hood!