Tag Archives: trust

Local Media More Trusted than National Media

When it comes to media, who do you trust? If you are like most people, you trust local media more than national media. Local media are perceived to be less biased than national media, and to have less of an agenda.

And the proof is in the ratings. A recent Poynter Institute analysis finds that Americans overwhelmingly view local TV news rather than their cable TV counterparts. Media writer James Warren used Chicago as a benchmark and found:

“The power and potency of local news endures, perhaps all the more so in a fragmented digital age. It’s a reality generally missed by media reporters.”

Local Media More Trusted than National Media - Nielsen Media Research | GroundFloor Media PR Agency

The general public’s reaction to media is analogous to how they perceive politicians. We all hate “Congress,” but we choose to continue to re-elect our own congressional representatives because we believe that our local representatives are somehow different. And that is the power of local.

Journalists Are Dubious of PR Practitioners According to Recent Study

As public relations professionals, we often find ourselves walking a fine line with journalists, bloggers and other influencers when it comes to how much information we can and should divulge about our clients. With this in mind, it shouldn’t come as a shock that journalists sense this reluctance to share. What is surprising is that according to a recent study, a full 90 percent of journalists say they have been misled by PR practitioners, and 25 percent say that it happens often.

The study provides other insights into how reporters get their leads for stories, how they use social media, and how they use digital media supplied by PR professionals.

Recently, GroundFloor Media hosted a media panel that included top Denver reporters who shared their insights about how they interact with public relations professionals, mistakes they think we make, and how they like to find their stories.

What are you doing as a PR practitioner to build and sustain your relationships with reporters so that you’re positioned as a trusted resource?

Trust in America: Are We Really More Cynical Than Ever Before?

All_the_president's_menAfter listening to a presentation by veteran PR expert, Tom Hoog, who ran one of the largest PR firms in the world, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, I found myself curious about one of the topics he covered: Trust.
Tom referenced a recent survey that showed Americans’ trust in government, corporate America and the media at all time lows. I was curious because it seems like every time I hear a speaker on this topic or read about a trust study, Americans are more cynical than ever. I was especially curious about how Americans felt about the mass media given that the fourth estate is one of the critical vehicles that public relations practitioners rely on to communicate messages to their target audiences.
Determined to find out if we really are less trustworthy than in the history of however long organizations have been doing trust studies, I decided to do my own research (in other words, I didn’t trust what I was hearing from Tom).

Trust in Government
I came across a study by the Pew Research Center that looked at Americans’ trust in government from 1958 to January 2013, as President Obama was beginning his second term, Public Trust in Government: 1958-2013. When the study was first conducted in 1958, trust in government was at 73%; earlier this year, it was at 26%. While trust has varied over the past 55 years, it’s clear by the bell curve that Americans, as a whole, are less trustworthy of their government.

Read more after the jump…

Transparency Breeds Trust

I am a straight shooter—it’s not good and it’s also not necessarily bad. It is just who I am. But, I didn’t start out that way. In fact, when I started GroundFloor Media I used to get this undeniable pit in the bottom of my stomach when I knew that the inevitable conversation needed to happen. It didn’t matter if it was a disagreement with a team member, a level set with a client, or a frank discussion with one of our competitors. I despised the thought of having to talk openly and honestly about the issue at hand. I used to toss and turn at night trying to figure out the best way to approach it, the proof points that I should use, the setting in which it should happen and even if it was the right decision to have the conversation at all.

Three years ago we were managing a national project for a very large client and in that role,we managed multiple vendors who reported up to our team. Without delving into the details, there was an error that was made on location by one of the client’s vendors they had asked us to manage. The client was furious at our team and the cost of the mistake was significant. I received a call from our team lead early that morning to warn me that a lengthy e-mail was waiting for me in my in box – an e-mail that 26 people were copied on (including the CMO). Needless to say, by this time I understood what had happened and where the fault ultimately fell. However, in a split second I knew that the tough conversation needed to happen immediately and no matter who was at fault, we needed to take the blame and cover the cost. I wrote a response, owned up to our responsibility and offered to cover the cost.

I didn’t have time to even think about it. It was simply the right thing to do.

At that moment I also realized that all tough conversations needed to be like this. The longer you wait to either own something or address something, the worse it can get. I am still far from perfect and find myself fretting over the ‘how’ when that knot in my stomach creeps up, but it does get easier.

Any professional service position requires a commitment to personalize the situation and address any concerns head on. I continue to make mistakes, but I have learned that if something seems out of alignment, it is better to rip the Band-Aid off and have the courage to address it. Once I stopped fretting about the right words to use and spoke from my heart, it became a lot easier to take feedback, own my role in it and try to find a solution.

We are fortunate to have clients that believe this type of communication is not only important, but also necessary. They aren’t afraid to call us on our mistakes and ask us to let them know when we are off base. These frank and transparent conversations are often the turning point that leads us down the road of a trusting, long-lasting relationship.

If you have that knot in your stomach and are trying to figure out how to bridge the gap and start the dialogue, I encourage you to jump in and do it now. I can almost guarantee that not only will you feel better afterward, but also that your relationship and partnership will take a turn for the better.

~Laura Love-Aden