Brands need to be doing more to adjust their communications approach to account for changing consumer expectations in an era of unreliable news media.
This is according to a new report from Ogilvy Media, which has called on brands to reinvent their approach to storytelling and strive for greater trust and authenticity in the so-called “fake news” era.
The agency conducted a survey of more than 250 reporters and producers, finding that the growing proliferation of misinformation and skewed reporting online is bolstering trust in traditional media, while comprehensive fact-checking and citing credible sources is becoming a greater area of focus than ever before.
Of those surveyed, 52 per cent of journalists said they considered traditional media to be the most trusted news source, followed by 22 per cent who said they were most inclined to trust company websites and press releases.
Social media, polarised media coverage and confirmation bias were cited as the key drivers of the rise of the current fake news culture, suggesting that brands should be wary of how these concepts are perceived when devising ways to communicate their messaging.
Overall, the conclusion of the report was that companies need to be aware of consumer concerns about fake or biased narratives, and do their utmost to earn trust through authenticity if they want their ideas to be heard.
Jennifer Risi, Worldwide Chief Communications Officer at Ogilvy, said: “The fragmentation of media has dramatically multiplied how consumers get their news, posing both a challenge and an opportunity for brands to tell their stories.
“If brands want to compete in a fake-news environment, they must communicate and build trust with consumers, leveraging the trifecta of traditional, digital and social media platforms to tell their stories in a way that is authentic and true to their brand.”