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The State of Trust in Australia

Australian Business, Business and Populism, Consumer Trends & Insight, Crisis, General, Insights, Media, Public Affairs, Trust

The institutional slip and slide
Trust in Australia continues to decline across all four key institutions; media, business, Government and NGOs. This has resulted with Australia sitting only 4 percentage points above the world’s least trusting country; Russia. Trust in media has fallen to a new all-time- low of 31 percent, and 60 percent of Aussies are disengaged with news from major organisations.

Although these data paint a chilling picture of trust in Australia, we can hardly be surprised following a tumultuous year. The Government has seen a plethora of negativity with citizenship fiascos across major parties and leaked transcripts revealing a heated phone call where Trump reportedly berated Prime Minister Turnbull. Business and media have been no stranger to controversy either with money laundering and counter-terrorism scandals, and high-profile strikes for Australia’s biggest publishers over job cuts.

Fake news betraying Australia
While misinformation has been prevalent for thousands of years, digital society now spreads mass misinformation. We have largely been a voyeur to affairs in the U.S. and there has been little reflection on how fake news impacts Australia’s residents. However, we cannot escape global news cycles. Fake news is a major concern for Australians, who are increasingly distrusting and searching for who and what to trust.

What we’re seeing from the Trust Barometer in Australia is the global swell of fake news could be leading Australians to look deeper at media sources. In the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer, 60 percent of the Australian general population were more likely to believe search engines compared to human editors. This year, traditional and online media have moved significantly upwards in trust compared to search and social.

The dawn of the activist CEO
In a world where media confusion is causing a churn of trust, voices of authority, including experts and CEOs, are regaining credibility. Across Australia a new wave of proactive CEOs is standing up for a cause.

High profile examples included CEOs standing up for modern slavery, gender equality and equal pay. Furthermore, more than 600 corporations backed the ‘yes’ side in the Australian marriage equality vote, including Qantas, the Australian Stock Exchange, and ANZ. These individuals are still a minority. With average credibility in CEOs still sitting at 39%, and more than six-in-10 believing CEOs should take the lead on change ahead of government, more need to stop hiding and stand up for a societal cause.

Populism – My company, my clan
2016’s general election saw a surge in support for independents and minor parties, thanks partly to charismatic individuals. What is distinctive about Australian populism is the emergence not of one key figure – but of a diverse field of parties and personalities. In tandem with this phenomenon, trust has decreased, and more than half of Australians think Government is broken.

Businesses and employers are far more trusted. Corporations have been given licence to stand up for societal issues in their place, speaking for, and with, the people. The highest trusted institution in Australia is ‘our employers’. Businesses need to think carefully about how they can use workforce loyalty to advocate for beliefs.

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

General

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

General

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.

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