We are living in era when trust is in crisis. Politicians, government institutions, even professions such as doctors and the law (both the police and the justice system itself) are less trusted than ever before. The media, which has played an important role in uncovering the events which have dissolved the trust in these bodies, has faced its own crisis of trust too.
For many businesses this has perhaps made them question the value of being mentioned by an established media brand. Research shows, however, that the stalwart names in news are more trusted than those on which they report. Journalists were seen to be one of the most trustworthy occupations for providing accurate news and information in the inaugural 2019 Institute for Public Relations Disinformation in Society Report. Almost half (46%) of respondents said they had at least “some trust” in journalists to provide accurate news and information.
This research was conducted in America where the country’s leader is being impeached and has suffered some of the lowest approval ratings of any president ever. The full effect of the recent political events on the average American citizen has yet to be measured but becoming more distrustful is a highly probable outcome.
People value balanced reporting, even if they recognise that their views are unlikely to change. They want to see both sides of the issue and respect the media which attempts to provide a holistic view. Even media adopting an editorial stance which conflicts with a reader’s own opinions may well be more trusted than those publications which deliberately try to hide their motives.
For any organisation looking at developing a relationship with the media, it is important to conduct the due diligence on the titles you are targeting. Once you have worked through which titles will help with your commercial objectives – ask yourself if the media organisation is one which is defendable to your shareholders, your staff and your customers?
Set Your Outcome
Press coverage can drive traffic to a website, entice customers into stores and cultivate leads for business development. It can increase awareness and boost your reputation. As long as you know what you are trying to achieve at the start, you can measure whether the activity is worthwhile. It is worth making sure that the research is conducted robustly – just because the CEO thinks an article in the Financial Times is a good idea, question how it will boost sales. Similarly consider how a story reported in the often over-looked local media across the country might create a host of SEO-worthy backlinks.
SRF has decades of experience in creating targeted media campaigns and can help you assess which coverage will add value to your business.