"They just don’t get it"… or is it me?

No one phrase chills my blood more than the declaration: "they just don’t get it".  It’s remarkable how often you hear it.  I find the closer you are to a particular ivory tower, the more often it occurs.

Translated it means "it’s all about my views", if they disagree they’re stupid. It’s anathema to good communication. [As of course is using words like ‘anathema’ – don’t worry I spot the irony!]

The other thing that never ceases to amaze me is you can take one bit of research.  Publish it to 1,000,000 people and you will get 500,000 different "findings" drawn from the same data.

If you work in PR, you probably have a good insight into research.  But that doesn’t mean that research findings aren’t interesting.

Some examples from Edelman Trust Baramoter

  • Higher trust (on the whole) in business than in government
  • Highest ever levels of trust in traditional media (be still my beating heart)
  • Young respondents relying on social media (Wikipedia the #2 source of credible information – and young people have higher levels of trust across most media types… oh my lord…)
  • 85% of respondents will pass along good or bad experiences of a company
  • News is the #1 online destination – usurping shopping
  • Blogs are a trusted source among only 14% of respondents (the word "only" is my emphasis)

Another interesting piece of research I came across is from Rajar (Radio Joint Audience Research) in the United Kingdom which found that 18% of people have started listening to more live radio since they started subscribing to podcasts.

What do all these statistics mean?

Search me.

My take is that all this research, in my opinion, underlines that communications, media and audiences are a complex, interrelated set of elements.  There isn’t one right answer.  There’s significant differences between geographies and age groups, between online and traditional media.

Which brings me back to my headline. 

Beware the emperor’s couture. There isn’t a one size fits all.  The reality is that, with some specialist exceptions, good and effective communication requires us to work with traditional and online media, traditional and online channels and traditional and online tools.

In summary, more work :-)

The revolution isn’t coming – but the evolution is.

You can download the full Edelman Trust Barometer report here and the key findings here.

Ireland specific

If you’re interested in the specific Irish findings jump over to Piaras.

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