Constantly Curious

Our Thoughts and Insights

Long weekend listening

Entertainment, General, Media

We’re switching off the laptops, putting the phones to silent and kicking back until Tuesday morning. For any trips, long or short, podcasts are essential. Here are Edelman Australia’s top picks to keep you entertained over Easter.

We’re switching off the laptops, putting the phones to silent and kicking back until Tuesday morning. For any trips, long or short, podcasts are essential. Here are Edelman Australia’s top picks to keep you entertained over Easter:


My Favorite Murder – @MyFavMurder @MFMPodcast @MyFavoriteMurder

Weekly comedy podcast hosted by two lifelong true crime fans and comedians, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. The girls bring their own flavour to each episode, using dark comedy and shock to share their unique perspective on well-known cases.

Bonus: It has applications to work! Click here for ‘5 things marketers can learn from My Favorite Murder podcast.’


Generation Why – @GenWhyPod @TheGenerationWhyPodcast @GenerationWhyPodcast  

The ultimate true crime podcast, where Aaron Habel and Justin Evans spend every episode delving into all the details and their theories surrounding an unsolved murder, mystery or true crime story.


My Dad Wrote a Porno – @MyDadWroteaPorno @MyDadWroteaPorno @MyDadWroteaPorno

Yes you read this right, but don’t judge until you listen to it. It follows some QI (that program with Stephen Fry) researchers where one of their Dads has literally written a naughty novel, entitled Belinda Blinked. Hilarity ensues and it is well worth it. 


The Bugle – @TheBugle @TheBugle @TheBugle

For a touch of British sarcasm and a run down of the biggest news, this is your go-to. This satirical podcast throws shade onto all of the world’s leaders in the most hilarious fashion. 


#AskJackD – @JackDelosa @delosa @Jackdelosa

Jack Delosa is an entrepreneur and the founder of The Entourage who aims to bring entrepreneurial learning into schools. He offers simple and tangible advice on how to grow your business, generate revenue or deal with business failures.


Ted Radio Hour – @TEDRadioHour @TEDRadioHour

Talks on all fascinating ideas, inventions and new ways to think and create. From understanding why people are always online, to scientific processes and achieving the next big breakthrough. The sessions are hosted by Guy Raz and new episodes are released weekly.  


ABC Radio National – All In The Mind @allinthemind @ABCRNAllInTheMind 

Want to know more about your brain and how it tweaks behaviour, this is the podcast for you. Most recently an episode called “Growing Up Digitally” documented how different generations mature with and without internet. Fascinating listening. 


A Neuroscientist Explains@bnglaser 

A podcast that only kicked off in 2017, A Neuroscientist Explains looks at a different news topic each week through the science of the mind. The sessions are shared on a weekly basis and hosted by Observer Mag columnist and neuroscientist Dr. Daniel Glaser. Highlights are ‘How music affects the brain’ and ‘How we perceive the truth’.


The 5AM Miracle – @JeffSandersTV @jeffsandersproductions

An action-focused weekly podcast hosted by Jeff Sanders that is dedicated to “dominating your day before breakfast”. Jeff talks about how to tackle goals and challenges with enthusiasm and encourages his listeners to adopt small daily habits that lead to long-term results. He often hosts experts who contribute to the podcast covering topics such as emotional health and happiness, productivity and time management.

The 5 things to know about the new AANA social influencer laws


So by now you’ve probably heard about the new Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) influencer laws, which is an amendment to a current law for celebrities and “influencers” on TV, radio and print but never on social media, until now.

So by now you’ve probably heard about the new Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) influencer laws, which is an amendment to a current law for celebrities and “influencers” on TV, radio and print but never on social media, until now.


This post is not an outline of how to use influencers, so if you haven’t read Paulie Linton’s blog post on “Why you should be ‘fashionably late on spending money on trends”, do yourself a favour and give it a read to brush up on influence vs influencers.


The amendment to the law has been put in place to combat those on social media who post false information about a product or brand, to the point where some influencers/bloggers accept payment to post about a product without having even tried the product, or even writing the endorsement themselves.


Below are 5 things from the AANA laws to know if you’re engaging an ‘influencer’ on social:

  1. An influencer isn’t determined by follower base

If you are engaging and transacting with anyone to convey a message on behalf of your business, they will need to disclose that they are doing so, or both parties will be liable to fines. Social influencers are no longer restricted to the Kim Kardashians of the world.

  1. Payment isn’t restricted to money

So, you have a business that sells candy bars, you reach out to a few influencers and send them free product asking them to post about how much they love the bar and use your hashtag. If you don’t classify this as payment, then you’re wrong. This is an exchange of reward and the ‘influencer’ must disclose that the post was paid for.

  1. You don’t have to put a # on it

Notice an increase in #ad on social channels? As I write this there are over 3.5 million tags on Instagram posts. So is this necessary? Short answer is no. If the copy makes it obvious that the influencer was paid, or is speaking on behalf of the brand and the post is not misleading to the applicable audience members, then you’re in the clear.

  1. This is a law, not a guideline

This point is rather self-explanatory, this amendment is not a guideline, it is the law, meaning if you’re in breach of the new rules then you will be eligible for a fine (up to $1.1million for brands) or stricter punishments.

  1. What if the Influencer goes rogue?

These new rules are not just for the influencer’s protection, but also for the brand’s. Some of you may recall the case of Essena O’Neil, a beauty/lifestyle influencer, who after agreeing to post certain content, ended up going back and changing all the copy on her posts to negatively talk about the brands who paid her to post. Luckily for Essena this was before the new laws, so she was let off the hook without prosecution.

If you have a signed contract with the influencer on scripted copy or even strong suggestions for copy, that they have agreed to, then they go rogue, they can be prosecuted under the new laws (and fined up to $220,000 for an individual). A contract is something that should always be sought after, even to outline best practices for both parties.


So even though there is a new law in place, there isn’t too much that needs to change for brands. The above list is best practice to ensure that your brand stays within the law when engaging and transacting with an influencer, no matter how big or small the activation may be.


For any additional information on the AANA law amendments they can be found HERE.

One man, a lot of BBQ and four trends from SXSW 2017


Now that the dust has settled, the delegates have returned home, and the smell of BBQ has been washed out of clothes – it’s time to reflect on some of the top trends to appear out of this year’s SXSW, the world’s largest conference for interactive and emerging technology, hosted in Austin, Texas.

Now that the dust has settled, the delegates have returned home, and the smell of BBQ has been washed out of clothes – it’s time to reflect on some of the top trends to appear out of this year’s SXSW, the world’s largest conference for interactive and emerging technology, hosted in Austin, Texas.


Once again, a packed program of over 800 official sessions and numerous unofficial sessions took place with speakers stretching from mountain climbers through to neuro-scientists by the way of rocket engineers.  Throw in trade stands peddling every possible new technology that comes to mind and you’ve got a jam-packed schedule.


Below represents just a very small number of the fascinating trends that really caught my attention over the week.

1. Autonomous Vehicles

There was no escaping autonomous vehicles this year at SXSW with flashy exhibitions from NIO, a new e-vehicle start-up to come out of China, and a fascinating discussion led by Ford CEO Bill Ford, who summised that whilst the technology was unquestionably just around the corner the challenges fundamentally lie within society.  In short, are we ready to manage the consequences of autonomising entire industries and the subsequent shift in employment needs? And are we employing the right people to make this happen?

2. VR as a communications tool

My colleague Jennifer Trou sums it up well in her recent Friday Five post: “VR and AR were seemingly on every corner and in every activation, but much of the conversation about them was still focused on the real-world applications. So while VR and AR will play a role in our future, many are still figuring out what that will be exactly.”

3. The future is bright. The future is Bots

Bots were an unescapable force this year, from Abbey, the official SXSW bot who helped you find your way to the right session and helped many a delegate find out what they’d missed, all the way through to Facebook and messenger bots transforming how consumer engage with brands through social media.  One way or another, as AI becomes more complex and sensitive, bots will inevitably take over many roles currently held by real people.  Whether they can manage the Australian sense of humor is yet to be seen…

4. Influencer Marketing – the new frontier

A huge conference track this year, a number of sessions dedicated their entire time to influencers. What I found interesting was the number of brands doing it right and the number that are still swinging and missing, with a heavy debate about the difference between Influencer Marketing and Influencer Engagement.  For a more in-depth analysis of the state of influence in Australia, I suggest you take a look at Pauline Linton’s great piece on why you should be ‘fashionably late on spending money on trends’.


Needless to say this is just four trends that immediately leapt out this year. To hear more on these topics, as well as other interesting discussions including neuroscience over-taking the traditional focus groups, the rise of National Geographic as the most exciting brand in the world and iMessenger as green space for brands, keep an eye out for an invitation to the upcoming Edelman Soundbite session that will go into much more detail.

Trust in crisis in Australia

Business and Populism, Insights, Media, Trust
2017 Edelman Trust Barometer Logo_Web_RGB-01

Australia is on the Trust precipice. Fear is driving populism and protectionism. Leadership is in crisis. Communities only listen to those who agree with them. Some politicians are advocating for closing borders and rejecting globalization. Could this signal the start of an era of Australian insularity?

As a nation, Australia prides itself on a healthy skepticism of authority, a dynamic that reflects tumultuous political play in recent years with five different leaders so far this decade.

However, despite this the disconnect between our own informed publics and the general population is stark and growing. Current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is a classic example of the success and trappings of this elite – a multi-millionaire who has risen to the most powerful seat in the country.  2016 has been marked in Australia by accusations that politicians are misusing taxpayer funds and a litany of corporate greed cases.  The responses are widely seen as mishandled by slow government response, bureaucratic commissions or inquiries with few meaningful resolutions for the voting public.

The system is broken

Set against the backdrop of recent international populist results, including Brexit and Trump, the overwhelming global sense that the system is failing is reflected in the Australian Trust findings.

When looking at the results for the general population, trust in government dropped 8 points to 37% from 45% in 2016, 10 points in the case of media (from 42% to 32%), 5 points to 52% for NGOs and 4 points to 48% for business in general.

Trust levels in Australia have also dropped among the informed public (top 25% income, university educated, actively engaged with news) and the rest of the population – a group we call the mass population – but a significant gap also remains between the two.  Although the informed public is more trusting than the rest of the population, they are becoming increasingly less trusting themselves.

Australia’s results, however, are far from anomalous. The level of trust amongst the general population globally in four key institutions – NGOs, Business, Media and Government – is at the lowest recorded level since we started collecting general population data in 2012.  The disconnect between the actions and decisions of these institutions and those affected by them is widening. Not only has trust dropped, but those surveyed have expressed a desire for greater scrutiny, regulation and taxation of business.

Fear feeds populism

Results show that of the five fears driving the embrace of populism – corruption, eroding social values, globalisation, immigration and concern over the pace of change – Australians have identified eroding social values, immigration and globalisation as key drivers for their lack of trust.

It’s no surprise that these fears have been embraced as key platforms by conservative party One Nation.  The Party, led by Senator Pauline Hanson, is becoming an increasingly visible and popular force for the disenfranchised and discontented, attracted by the Party’s commitment to anti-globalization, anti-immigration and protectionist policies.

There is a direct correlation between fear and the belief that the system is broken.  Businesses are also to blame for stoking these societal fears, simply because they appear oblivious to the context.  Automation may mean innovation to business, but to the public, it can translate to job losses and communities in decline, which exacerbates the disconnect.

News imitates fact; our echo chambers are alive and well

But a real standout this year was Australians’ loss of trust in media. Among informed publics (from a 54% trust level last year), media now sits at 40%, a whopping 14-point decline.  Among the general population, trust in media at 32% is among the lowest levels globally, 11 points below the global average of 43% and a 10 point drop from 2016.

The erosion of trust in media has been accelerated by two significant changes this year.  First is the ongoing consolidation of media in Australia, a landscape dominated by a few players (Australian media ownership, and print media in particular, is among the most concentrated in the world).  Relaxation of cross-media ownership and ongoing staffing cuts has reduced diversity in perspective, and fact checking is at the expense of speed to market.

The second is the universal proliferation of fake news on social media, compounded by the fact that many believe that results from search engines are more credible than information collated by editors or journalists….it seems algorithms are perceived to be more reliable than humans when it comes to delivering the truth.

Add to this the impact of self-referential and ‘friend-endorsed’ facts on our social media channels and we find ourselves in a perfectly formed reflective bubble where we place greater value on information from influencers (people like me) than institutions (technical experts and academics).

Leadership in crisis

Australians’ trust in business leadership, including the “c-suite”, company directors and boards, is in dramatic decline.  The credibility of CEOs as spokespeople dropped significantly, reaching a lowly 26% in 2017 (compared to 39% last year) in the case of the general population, and nine point drop to 36% in the case of the informed public.

So how do we lead from here?

When looking at the global results employees are considered the most credible spokespeople on every topic – this is the first time we have seen this result.  We are looking for spontaneous, ‘human’ spokespeople and have a thirst for information from ‘people like me’.  Business has an opportunity to embrace and empower employees to create a stronger and more authentic alignment between their brand and their corporate narrative.

Business now has a clear opportunity to rebuild trust by recognizing the need to do things differently.  We must forget the neat separation of communication and executive function.  We need a holistic approach that puts people at the center of engagement, not just as one more audience to reach.  Rebuilding trust will be driven by how authentically and effectively all institutions engage with the general population, not just the ‘target audiences’ they define as relevant to them.

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