Declining trust in the media

SimonCommunications, General

The power of the media to influence reputation is something that many PR practitioners take for granted – yet that power relies on the reader trusting the media they’re consuming.

Neville Hobson has an interesting post picking up on the theme of declining trust in media and the changes in the practice of journalism described by Nick Davies’ Flat Earth News.

This decline in trust, matched with the generally declining reach of local newspapers means public sector communicators need to think more broadly at their communications mix.

It’s no longer adequate to rely on media relations as the mainstay of a communications mix – yet many councils do just that.

A combination of lack of experience of broader communications planning and an addiction to local newspaper coverage among senior people in local public sector organisations serves to perpetuate this myth.

Surely it’s the job of communications professionals to present the true picture of how people get news and information in a place – what’s the reach of local papers, radio and television? What alternative channels exist? What’s the trend and what does it mean for a public sector organisation’s communications?

The communications landscape is changing, and the practice of public sector communications is changing too. I wonder which is changing faster…