By Jan-Patrik Frohn, Alpha & Omega PR
Digitalisation has essential influence on nearly every aspect of daily life. In communication, consumption, love or traditional economy – digitalisation changes our life everywhere. In times in which everyone with access to the internet can virtually become a medium of communication him or herself, the Edelman Trust Barometer has now investigated in how far our trust in the media changes.
Trust is a precious commodity, if not the most precious one. This counts for personal relationships as well as for the social level. Trust is a connector, the social link within a population. Trust in the government, in institutions, in media and corporations. Particularly media is in a democratic society an opinion former not to be scoffed at. Still, media represents a window to the world for the average citizen. Through media, he informs himself about the world affairs and is partially influenced in his judgement about certain events as well as about products and services.
The most recent Edelman Trust Barometer investigates in how far society trusts the media. Who is ranked highest in the prerogative of interpretation? Are the ‘new’ forms of media like social media and search engines catching up? And how does this influence Public Relations? Do we need new communication strategies?
Traditional media lose their significance
The study proves that the use of media changes slowly, but steady. Even though 74% of the interviewees still state that they use the TV several times a week, securing continually the top position for the TV, there is a change concerning the following positions. The second position is occupied by search engines, 70% use these several times a week. The third one is occupied by social media, used by 54%. Most noteworthy appears to be the following result: Newspapers and the radio suffered a severe loss of trust and occupy positions four and five with only 51% and 40% respectively. A blow below the belt for traditional journalism, whose downswing proceeds undamped.
Brief interjection: Blogs are made bigger than they really are – only 15% access them repeatedly in a week. As an opinion former, they are merely of marginal importance for the whole society.
These results illustrate that the usage of media diversifies perceptibly. There is not a single media anymore, which stands alone as representative for a window to the outside world, as the TV has done before. Nevertheless, it appears to be as follows: A bigger variety entails something good. The consumption of different forms of media allows more freedom because various considerations with different focuses, opinions and conclusions can be taken into account. However, everyone is urged to develop an own opinion out of the mass of display formats, which makes him more responsible and particularly more differentiated. Therefore, the currently developing variety thoroughly shows potential for something positive.
Now back to the research: Possibly the most surprising result of the barometer is that corporation media gained trust notably in one target group, namely the Millennials (Generation Y). Considerable 43% trust corporate news, 10% more than people of the general population. This illustrates the increasing reputation of companies. Particularly with reference to the loss of trust of traditional forms of media, this circumstance clarifies that companies should increasingly address their target groups directly and furthermore, that the usage of journalism becomes more and more accidental. Even though journalists are still important multiplicators, who are able to grant their messages the necessary relevance as well as seriousness due to their assumed objectivity, the outcome of the research indicates that corporations could and should distribute news discretely and concertedly. The consumer trusts and believes in these messages, which is why this resource should be used to full capacity.
Global One Communication supports your company in the selective development and distribution of messages so that the firm itself will be perceived as resource for informative and relevant content.