How Can The Media Maintain Trust With Its Audiences?
As a public relations agency, we often guide clients as to how to get individuals, products and services featured in the media. This improves company visibility and credibility. Yet, this year, the credibility of the media itself is being threatened. Is what the media is reporting, real or fabricated? As consumers increasingly curate the news they receive and social media provides information overload, audiences face the challenge of trusting news media to get the facts.
Following are highlights:
- Value authenticity and transparency above all else. According to Shareen Pathak, managing editor at Digiday: “News is commoditized. The only way to build trust is to talk about and to people in a direct and honest way.”
- Base content in facts and data. “Make sure the real, hard data and facts are there– and allow readers and consumers to make their own conclusions,” says Mindy Massucci, head of global operations at Bloomberg LP.
- Cater to multiple audiences while still maintaining your media brand authenticity. “Not everyone is going to be in your target audience but news outlets shouldn’t be the opposition either; we need to persist to understand both and all sides,” says Allison Murphy, Vice President of Ad Product and News Partnerships at The New York Times.
Also: “We’re not going to change minds by endorsing ideas. We seek to represent/understand perspectives from all sides,” says Ed Felsenthal, editor-in-chief at Time.
- Above all else, “fake news” is not real news. “Avoid any use of the catchphrase “fake news” because it’s not news, and that validates it in some way as fact,” moderator Joanne Lipman, editor-in-chief of USA Today says.