Digital is the Least Trusted Source of News in APAC Because of Fake News

Trust. Credibility.

Two words that used to resonate with digital because of peer-to-peer endorsements. However marketers and propagandists have bastardized the medium by introducing fake news, paid influencers who don’t disclose, and automated bots for black ops. A recent study by YouGov on APAC bears this out.

The study, which has over 8,000 respondents in various countries in APAC, including the Philippines, states that TV is the most trusted medium for news at 75% followed by Radio at 70% and Print at 68%. Digital is now at the last, trailing at 60%.

In terms of Fake News, survey participants said that Digital was the top medium with a problem at 68% followed by Newspapers at 49%, TV at 47%, and Radio at 41%.

This brings me to the main point of this article. Fake news will not go away anytime soon. In fact it’s becoming even worse now that the government uses it to go direct to citizens without the fact-checking and critical eye of journalists. Bad politics has slowly chipped away at the credibilty of the medium which is unfortunate because there are a lot of legit and hardworking content creators on digital.

What’s the impact on this on Public Relations in the context of brand marketing?

EMV for Traditional PR and Analytics for Digital PR

Earned Media Value as a metric for traditional PR still works, especially given the context of credibility and trust. The challenge is how do you maximize the reach of content like those and put analytics at the heart of it so that it can deliver business results. Here’s a potential strategy to consider:

Get traditional coverage with a multi-media news organization or a credible digital publisher (guesting, expert interview, feature). This gives you credibility and legitimacy.
Extend the reach by using it as advertising material on Facebook. Boost it in partnership with the publisher. This gives you richer analytics that you can play with and you can even go down to conversion if you have a landing page or a coupon.

In short, brands should re-energize their efforts for PR with traditional news organizations, especially those who have multiplatform offerings. It’s actually to their advantage now as a lot of publishers don’t know how to properly package and sell.

Read Also: Why Earned Media Values is Broken for Digital PR

Specifically for Digital PR, analytics is your North Star. In a time when everyone is already a “digital publisher or influencer” that can potentially peddle fake news. Fortunately there are a lot of social listening tools that will already give marketers a potential list of legit influencers related to their industry or interest. They just have to pair that with conversion tracking and they should be good.

Digital Publishers Need to Level Up

For bloggers, digital publishers, content creators, and influencers, the challenge is clear: quality, credibility, transparency, and authenticity. Trust is the ultimate currency and you earn it over time. The same YouGov study points out the adverse effects of brands and publishers that share fake news. 44% will stop following or trusting them. The more trusted and credible you are, the more potential revenue you can actually generate.

The rise of Fake News is changing the marketing and PR landscape once again. Brands, publishers, and agencies need to evolve to meet the ever-changing needs and wants of digital consumers.

Source: Marketing Interactive

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Carlo Ople

Author Carlo Ople

Founder and writer of Unlocked.ph and for full disclosure I'm also the Vice-President for Digital Marketing Strategy of PLDT/Smart, the largest telco in the Philippines. Prior to this I co-founded a digital advertising agency (DM9 Digit) which we sold to Dentsu, the largest single branded agency in the world. I also co-founded one of the biggest tech websites in the country, Unbox (unbox.ph). Views do not represent PLDT/Smart and are purely my own.

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