Are your messages surviving the complex filter of news brands and aggregators?

Diminishing audience trust in news brands poses the biggest challenge for comms professionals.
26 August 2021
news aggregators
John McCarthy

Strategic Content Director, Media Division

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Our recently published study, Five crucial steps to a smarter communications strategy, considers how our clients in the comms industry can manage reputation successfully, and unlock the value of insight to build smarter communications strategies.

Specifically, it reveals that while the public’s trust in national news brands and broadcasters is holding up relatively well, those levels of trust do not transfer to the social and news aggregator platforms. Of the 6000+ members of the public (across Western Europe) we spoke to, worryingly, only 32% of them are confident that they “always notice the source of the news” they consume on social media.

So, what happens when audiences consume a news brand they trust, in an environment or platform that they don’t trust?

This question represents a major challenge for communications professionals. Ultimately, the benefit of coverage in a trusted news brand may dissipate as audiences skim quickly through their social media feeds.

Audience suspicion of news aggregation

Audiences are wary of non-curated news, with only 13% of those surveyed going to social media to get an in-depth understanding of an issue.

 news source trust

What impact is the complex filter of aggregators and platforms having on your reputation?

The rise of social platforms had many anticipating that society would inexorably move from seeking information ‘surfing the internet’ to having information served to them – from ‘pull’ to ‘push’. However, a potential re-balancing, combined with the increased use of search engines, could mark a watershed moment in which trusted media brands could regain some control over their own audiences.

Using consumer insight data from TGI and consumer panels, as well as clients’ own data sources, it becomes possible to understand the complex interaction of news brands, platforms, trust and awareness: ultimately, uncovering the fundamental truths that empower our clients to manage their reputations successfully.

The full study, available to download here, challenges our collective conventional thinking, identifies new priorities, and underlines the importance of evidence-based insights. It forms part of our 2021 Media Navigator series, a provocative perspective that looks at how data can keep you compete in an increasingly dynamic, connected world.

Editor’s Notes:

Kantar spoke to over 700 in-house communications practitioners and over 6,000 members of the public across Western Europe (France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain and UK) to understand what matters to the communications industry and the audience it seeks to engage – revealing some uncomfortable truths and challenging conventional thinking. The report, available to download for free, has been designed to offer an analysis of issues such as trust in news brands & aggregators, the reliance on technology and human intelligence to understand media coverage and its impact on reputation – as well as the need to better leverage existing data assets. Together, these individual elements form five crucial steps to a smarter communications strategy.

Want more like this?

Read: Closing the gap between comms professionals perceptions and audience reality

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