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Blog post
June 24, 2019

Let go, adapt and grow

Thriving in a constantly shifting, transforming and exciting mediascape

In almost every conversation we had with clients last year, a common theme that arose was their desire to understand the practical next steps to becoming more comfortable with the uncomfortable.

Introducing technology is one thing, but the need to adapt new behaviors and business approaches around said technology was something many of our Communications and Marketing stakeholders flagged as an uphill and somewhat ‘foggy’ battle.

While change is easy to understand as a concept, we’re naturally uncomfortable with what it throws at us. A demand for experimentation, letting go of old thinking and embracing entirely new approaches. All at a speed in which we humans aren’t always immediately comfortable with.

However, the benefits are clear. By exploring the unknown or uncomfortable and adopting an experimental approach, you can ensure your focus aligns with what you ultimately want to achieve.

For many, it starts with measurement. It might not be the sexiest solution but sometimes we need the data to tell us where to go or which strings to pull so that we can let go of others that aren’t performing how we need, enabling us to be more comfortable with our decisions and direction. 

In the field of media intelligence or media monitoring, measurement can be used similarly to Design Thinking principals or ‘prototyping’. It’s a test-and-learn opportunity that gives you a window of time to see results, go back to the drawing board or become more comfortable with next steps that need to be taken. It also helps to shift your mindset towards being more of an architect of the future, rather than just trying to get over the next hurdle.   

It’s also important not to try to tackle everything at once. Know your purpose, be clear on what you need to nail, and let go of everything else. If you have a team, it’s also a great opportunity to delegate and empower everyone so that the adoption is collective and experienced. 

Remember, your ultimate success will be based upon your ability to adapt and make friends with experimentation, rather than your ability to add ‘bells and whistles’ that cover up the uncomfortable.  Measure what works for your clients, audiences and business, and then reassess from there. Create a framework that allows you to review changes you’ve made on a regular basis, and explore more of the uncomfortable until there’s no hesitation remaining and all you find is growth.

___
Our media analysis team can provide you with a concise snapshot of your media profile in 2017. Our Year in Review reports provide at-a-glance findings and top line insights with instantly comparable and easy-to-understand metrics.
  • Assess the volume and audience or circulation of press and broadcast coverage in each state and territory over a 12-month period
  • See the media outlets that reported on you the most often
  • Let us measure the influence you had in the media
  • Reveal peak periods for you and your competitors with our month-on-month trends
  • Measure the proportion of your media coverage that quoted or mentioned one or more of your spokespeople.

Learn more about our Insights services including our annual media analysis.

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The story around supermarket prices has been evolving for a number of months, finally reaching an inflection point as the Woolworth’s CEO appeared in a challenging interview with Four Corners and then announced his upcoming retirement only two days later.This chain of events underscores the critical importance of understanding the connections made by broadcast media, as they can significantly influence public perceptions and shape the narrative surrounding key industry players.

https://www.reddit.com/r/PublicRelations/comments/1aukych/australia_woolies_ceo_interview_mishap/?share_id=S-JDSwqI-UlHg_mIeTlkg&utm_content=2&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=ioscss&utm_source=share&utm_term=1

It was only the latest in a series of media items to seize Australia’s attention, and cast the nation’s supermarkets into something of a PR and Comms crisis.

And yet, viewing events through this framing also only gives a partial picture. As the discussion surrounding the impact of supermarkets on the rising cost of living intensifies, we've observed a notable surge in the usage of terms such as 'shrinkflation' and 'skimpflation'. Reaching back even further, we can see how the topics attained a gradually greater place on Australian news and social channels. Shrinkflation and skimpflation are tactics employed by supermarkets during economic challenges. Shrinkflation involves reducing product sizes while maintaining prices, subtly passing on costs to consumers. Skimpflation maintains product sizes but compromises on quality to preserve profit margins. These strategies often frustrate supermarket shoppers, especially during economic strains like inflation.

Clearly, the topic has become ubiquitous. But if we want to understand how information and perceptions have been communicated to mainstream Australian audiences, then it becomes vitally important to pay particular attention to broadcast media. 

Broadcast media (which includes television, radio and podcasts)  plays a pivotal role in shaping public discourse and influencing perceptions, particularly on pressing issues such as the cost of living crisis. 

Using Isentia to monitor these data sources, we gain valuable insights into their contribution to consumer attitudes. From identifying which organisations are most associated with the issue to pinpointing key public figures and preferred channels within radio and TV, broadcast media monitoring allows us to understand the complex dynamics that shape public opinion.

It’s the oldest of these media types which accounts for the most mentions of the supermarket crisis. Beyond reporting updates on the senate inquiry and government actions, radio excels in facilitating in-depth conversations between hosts and listeners, which surfaces more individual consumer stories than television or podcasts can match.

ABC's predominant coverage of the topic corresponds with the network's content strategy. Major programs such as the Supermarket Four Corners special and podcasts like The Briefing attract substantial listenership and garner attention from other channels. Channel 7, in addition to delivering key news updates, focuses on the shopper experience within supermarkets, shedding light on everyday challenges faced by audiences, such as navigating shrinkflation and skimpflation tactics.

Understanding the majority share of broadcast channels within this topic is important as it reflects who has the loudest voice, and is most persistently advancing a certain narrative or way of framing the situation. 

Coles and Woolworths dominate the conversation, reflecting their prominent presence in the retail landscape. Their widespread accessibility and familiarity to consumers make them prime subjects for discussion in the context of rising costs and economic pressures. 

Conversely, Aldi and IGA, while still significant players in the grocery market, may receive comparatively less focus in these discussions. Aldi's reputation for offering lower-priced alternatives and IGA's decentralised business model, with independently owned stores, may also contribute to their reduced presence in conversations about supermarket practices during times of economic strain. 

Each channel and network approaches discussions about supermarket groups differently. While Coles and Woolworths understandably dominate each station's broadcasts, the precise balance (and the time afforded to Adi and IGA) is revealing.

For instance, 4BC has encouraged audiences to diversify their shopping habits, with one 4BC broadcaster highlighting that "Aldi and IGA are actually doing more than the other two to really help enormously with the cost of living."

In the discourse on supermarket practices during the cost of living crisis, a number key figures emerge across broadcast channels. Anthony Albanese, the Australian Prime Minister, is predictably prominent on just about every channel, particularly broadcaster 2SM. 

All of them, that is, apart from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), which spotlights Allan Fels, an economist and former ACCC chair who has analysed price gouging by major corporations. Other notable politicians mentioned include Treasurer Jim Chalmers, Craig Emerson, Steven Miles, and David Littleproud. 

Media's focus on these figures is crucial for shaping public discourse and policy responses amid economic pressures. While supermarkets are often discussed as a key antagonist in the cost of living crisis, they are increasingly being viewed in the context of potential solutions, particularly regarding government policy to regulate supermarket giants.

At the same time, focus does not only fall on the prominent individuals driving business decisions and policymaking. Country Hour (NSW), for instance, focused a story on cherry grower Michael Cuneo, who ceased selling to supermarkets after he made a financial loss on a shipment of fruit. And it was this story that achieved the greatest media reach of any radio content on the topic.  

Clearly then, the topic has not played out in any one way across any one channel. The prominence of key figures and top broadcast channels in this conversation underscores the importance of understanding how media coverage impacts public discourse and regulatory decisions. Isentia's broadcast capabilities offer unparalleled insight into the role of broadcast media in shaping the narrative surrounding supermarket practices. By harnessing Isentia's monitoring and analysis tools, organisations can gain deep insights into how influential discourse and coverage can impact an industry. 

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Blog
How Australian broadcast media has shaped the cost of living crisis narrative

The story around supermarket prices has been evolving for a number of months, finally reaching an inflection point as the Woolworth’s CEO appeared in a challenging interview with Four Corners and then announced his upcoming retirement only two days later.This chain of events underscores the critical importance of understanding the connections made by broadcast media, […]

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data visualisation of Bluey content

Drawing from the trajectory of Bluey, a children's TV show that has captivated audiences across the globe, we delve into the realm of reputation management, unravelling the complexities that PR and communications professionals encounter in today's dynamic landscape. 

In today's digital era, where people can freely share their opinions about a brand anytime and anywhere, maintaining a positive reputation means protecting your image and meeting the expectations of your audience, by staying aligned with the values of the communities you engage with.

Looking at four years of web search, online news coverage, and Twitter mentions, we uncover why this kids' TV show, grounded in family values, has drawn widespread curiosity. Observing how audiences engage with Bluey content across social platforms, we can see a significant pattern emerging.

Amidst the limelight, how has Bluey navigated scandals and pitfalls while holding to the public's high standards of family-friendly content? The power lies in understanding the needs, interests, and motivations of various community segments. Delving into these aspects, can help proactively sidestep the potential pitfalls encountered during brand reputation management and development, a lesson gleaned from Bluey's journey.

Strategic Balance: Bluey's PR Approach to Family Values Amidst Modern Critique

Data visualisation of reputation crises for Bluey

The program promotes education and emotional development through family-oriented activities, aligning with the brand image of family values in today’s world. However, some viewers have criticised the show for not representing a ‘“typical” modern family. As seen in the data above, some of the biggest blunders involve bullying, body shaming and whether it’s appropriate to mention sensitive issues around pregnancy, toilet talk, and men’s health concerns. 

One specific incident being Chilli's decision to pursue a career instead of being a full-time stay-at-home mum which was  deemed as mum-shaming by some. The lack of same-sex marriages represented in the show, and its soft approach to disability have also been topics of contention for the show.  

News article about Bluey representing family

Fans have raised concerns about body shaming and the topics of vasectomies, premature births, and miscarriages. Some episodes distributed to the US, UK and even Australia have required editing or complete cancellation altogether, like the episode where the family jokingly uses the term “ooga booga”. The Macquarie Dictionary defines its meaning as “A stereotypical rendering of what the speaker regards to be the language of those deemed by them to be African savages."

https://twitter.com/CashForBones/status/1647026309082628098

Gaining a profound comprehension of the audience and their values empowers brands to craft content that resonates, forming a robust bond with consumers. In an era where consumers readily scrutinise brands for authenticity, often challenging the sincerity of "purpose-driven communications”, this understanding becomes paramount. Such initiatives, without genuine action, risk being seen as mere gestures and unauthentic. 

In the face of online scrutiny and media attention, as seen with Bluey's occasional controversies, upholding the essence of an authentic family environment stands as a pivotal commitment. However, a question lingers – does Bluey accurately perceive the nuances of authenticity within the context of a contemporary 21st-century audience?

What goes into the making of brand reputation? – Acknowledging your community

Utilising our sister company Pulsar's audience intelligence platform, we can effectively identify the most active viewer groups within a conversation, like family-oriented music fans within the Bluey topic, and better understand how they integrate or fragment. This knowledge allows for timely and strategic responses to viewer discussions that may impact reputation.

It's important to recognise that Bluey's audience extends beyond just kids; parents and childfree adults are also avid viewers. However, these diverse communities hold varying values and connections that significantly shape the brand's reputation. While Bluey's focus is evidently on family and parenting, it also traverses through themes of relationships, self-image, representation, and emotional intelligence. 

The crux lies in how these distinct groups engage with Bluey's content and branding and then interpret and share their perspectives. This dynamic interaction places the reins of reputation management firmly in the hands (or paws) of the brand.

Among these communities, family-oriented fans resonate with Bluey's adventures, sparking discussions that delve into the complexities of parenting. Their connection with the authentic family portrayal is a pivotal element. 

On the other side, American LGBTQ+ furries advocate for inclusion and authenticity without gender labels. Young Australian news enthusiasts align themselves with events impacting the show, especially those related to censorship. Meanwhile, the Gen Z segment of student Netflix obsessives enthusiastically binge on the latest TV trends, underscoring the importance of staying current with zeitgeist fandoms. 

By comprehending the priorities and dialogues of these diverse groups - as is the case with Bluey - messaging and content can be crafted to uphold positive brand reputation management from the audience's vantage point.

Bluey's Intergenerational Appeal – knowing how your communities perceive you

In the realm of modern public relations, brands are under growing pressure to embrace societal issues and adopt a meaningful purpose. This expectation extends even to children's TV shows, adding a layer of viewer complexity to consider in messaging; the show's messaging has to take into account all viewer group perceptions. And this gets more complex as more groups are identified and their perceptions are categorised. 

Although family is the most significant theme for all the viewers listed on the chart above, different communities have distinct priorities. Fans of family-oriented music tend to focus on themes related to learning and education, while younger groups, LGBTQIA+ artists, student Netflix obsessives, prioritise mental health themes. By observing the ‘thickness’ or strength of the connection between audience and theme, we can see how the narrative flows into different audience types. 

This prompts a crucial consideration: Is it appropriate to introduce weighty mental health themes to young minds and influence their formative years? While this inquiry is pertinent, it's worth noting that some experts recommend that parents engage with such shows to gain valuable insights into these themes from a child's perspective. 

News article about Bluey
https://twitter.com/deadspacedog/status/1666183899813142529

On the other hand, some adults use the show to heal from their own past traumas. While younger generations feel a sense of pride and responsibility when watching it with their younger family members. 

Understanding varying perspectives presents a challenge and often carries significant weight in strategic PR decision-making, but by using research, we can observe differences and overlaps among different groups. How different communities engage and share bluey content, highlights the varying ways content can spread, and take on new meaning. 

Your reputation changes your brand but how do you respond? “I’m not taking advice from a cartoon dog” – Bandit, Bluey’s Dad (episode 24, season 2)

Although your community and stakeholders can influence your reputation, it's important to remain proactive. In today's digital age, brand values must be adaptable. For example, a scene from the "Exercise" episode was removed due to concerns from viewers, including single childless families, who felt that it could be viewed as fat-shaming and negatively impact viewers. 

Additionally, an apology was issued after brand content was released that was seen by viewers as  "mum-shaming" Chilli for not being able to spend as much time with her kids as a full-time stay-at-home mum. Viewers disagreed with the brand content's judgmental and outdated portrayal of family roles.

Bluey Tweet
Bluey Tweet response

The Heelers aren’t perfect, and they’re not pretending to be

Converting reputation into numerical data makes it clearer and easier to understand and interpret as it's based on input from the communities that shape it. The challenge for Bluey's brand reputation management now is to accurately portray family life in today's social climate and respond to feedback from everyday viewers. 

In our constantly evolving world, the standards for children's TV shows are shifting. A carefully planned reputation strategy is crucial for everyone impacted by fluctuating expectations. By analysing what your target stakeholders value and identifying how that’s projected onto your brand, we can measure what was previously unquantifiable.

Reach out to our team for advice on utilising research and monitoring solutions for their reputation management needs. 

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Blog
Keeping up with the Heelers – brand reputation management using insights 

Drawing from the trajectory of Bluey, a children’s TV show that has captivated audiences across the globe, we delve into the realm of reputation management, unravelling the complexities that PR and communications professionals encounter in today’s dynamic landscape.  In today’s digital era, where people can freely share their opinions about a brand anytime and anywhere, […]

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Media's Lens: Framing the FIFA Women's World Cup Narrative

Media coverage communication strategies

The FIFA Women's World Cup has taken centre stage as well as global communication strategies, drawing global attention as the media employs key themes to shape perceptions and illuminate the tournament's core values. From Viewing & Enjoying to Women in Sports, Rankings, Cultural Inclusivity and Representation, Marketing and Advertising, Community and Economy, these themes underscore the event's significance, lofty ambitions, and the collective aspiration for soccer's unifying power. 

The media focuses on the excitement surrounding the game, not only because it echoes fans' optimistic expectations for the future of women's sports but also because this is entertainment with genuine fandoms. This strategic coverage not only provides professional athletes with a global platform to broadcast their values to the world but also weaves the Women's World Cup narrative into a vibrant tapestry of empowerment, inspiration, and unity, establishing an influential precedent for the evolution of women's sports.

Studying how news media engage viewers provides insights for organisations aligning their messaging with audience expectations. While WWC promotes women in sports, news media prioritise entertainment and women athletes. A tournament, usually hosted in inconvenient time zones, excites Australian and New Zealand non-sports and sports fans alike, emphasising the value of a localised global platform backed by the media. 

Media trends drive organisations to adjust communication strategies. It signals organisations/brands to re-strategise their communications strategy when they observe media and viewer trends and their flow-on effects. For example, media coverage of the cup, focusing on its  entertainment value rather than gender, and reporting on ratings, excitement, and atmosphere, demonstrates to organisations that it is a worthwhile channel to invest in and align their communications with.

Brand Strategies: Engaging Audiences Amidst the Soccer Spectacle

top sponsors and their communication strategies strategies

As the FIFA Women's World Cup captivates global attention, it becomes an arena for strategic brand engagement. Our friends at Pulsar provided key audience intelligence insights, helping us bridge the gap between news coverage and audience engagement. The tournament serves as a stage for brands to showcase their commitment to women's sports and connect with passionate fans on a deeper level with their messaging. Among these, a select few stand out, employing unique strategies, like broadcast presence, social engagement and news pickups, to drive forward their values while resonating with WWC’s diverse audience segments. These organisations took advantage of a phenomenon with broad appeal and positioned themselves to represent the themes driven by news media.

McDonald's and Social Engagement – Empowering Fan Participation and Interaction

McDonald's turns its spaces into soccer havens, fostering community engagement through earned content using social media ops and iconic backdrops. Macca's All Stars and personalised collectible cards connect fans, while initiatives like Macca’s Swings infuse playfulness. The Panini Football Stickers Happy Meal celebrates women's football by building fan dream teams. 

Lays and Broadcast Presence – Amplifying the Thrill of the Game

With the biggest investment in TV ads for women's sports, Lay's "Taste of Greatness" commercial marks a historic partnership, fueling the excitement of the game. The #LaysGOALdenGiveaway transforms goals into winning opportunities, while the Ultimate Watch Parties and Fan Quest showcase the lively fan culture, bringing supporters together. Lay's top investment in women's sports aligns with how news media and audiences perceive women's sporting events.

Google Pixel and News Pickup – Highlighting Visibility and Advocating Equality

Google Pixel amplifies visibility with the "unblur" function and the campaign message of seeing individual players' diverse stories, thus advocating for gender equality. Partnerships with football associations and players empower Pixel FC members, while the advanced camera and AI technology enhance fan experiences, uniting fans on and off the field.

By exploring these communication strategies, we discover how the FIFA Women’s World Cup goes beyond being just a sporting event. It becomes a symbol of unity, inspiration, and a demonstration of the messages that resonate with audiences.

Lay sponsorship strategy of broadcast presence media exmaple
https://www.tiktok.com/@nickandhelmi/video/7257840723880414465
https://twitter.com/GoogleUK/status/1673254779642949634

Sam Kerr: Icon of the Game and Her Diverse Fan Base

Sam Kerr's audience segments and communications strategies

Sam Kerr's journey from aspiring athlete to global sensation exemplifies her exceptional talent and unwavering work ethic. Her iconic status isn't solely due to athleticism; Sam Kerr's genuine authenticity and relatable qualities forge connections with diverse supporters, as seen in the primary fan segments listed above. Her public image highlights how news coverage prioritises entertainment, appealing to a wider audience rather than just sports fans or those with a pro-women agenda. 

Organisational messaging can use this to bring their purpose to a wider community. This illustrates a profound connection between the themes the news media emphasise and the messaging organisations should strive for, as demonstrated by Sam Kerr's influence.

Sam Kerr's influence spans diverse groups, including young women who are inspired by social influencers like Tanya Burr, dedicated sports fans who admire her tenacity, and the LGBTQIA+ community who identify with her. Understanding the most popular platforms and channels of her audience further indicates where messaging and brand positioning would be most effective, especially for organisations that aim to reflect the diverse fanbase Sam Kerr attracts. Her impact reflects the universal appeal of the Women's World Cup, bringing together people from diverse backgrounds and uniting them around values such as  determination and breaking stereotypes. Sam Kerr's far-reaching impact is a beacon of hope for women's sports. 

Getting off on the right foot with the right communication strategies

The FIFA Women's World Cup goes beyond showcasing soccer prowess, intertwining narratives of athlete popularity, partnership strategies, and media coverage. This exploration delves into Sam Kerr's journey, scrutinises the engagement strategies of major brands, and dissects how the media portrays the Women's World Cup. From Kerr's diverse impact on fans to organisations strategically amplifying their brands amid the tournament's excitement and media highlighting essential themes, a comprehensive picture emerges. This holistic perspective crafts a vibrant narrative of empowerment, unity, and inspiration. 

As PR and communications professionals, these insights emphasise the potential to align brand narratives with a popular ethos, fostering impactful connections and advocacy that resonate within a changing industry and beyond.


If you would like to learn more about discovering how media intelligence can lead to insights across advertising strategy or the active communities leading specific online conversations using audience intelligence, get in touch with our partners at Pulsar today.

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Blog
Communication Strategies at FIFA Women’s World Cup

Media’s Lens: Framing the FIFA Women’s World Cup Narrative The FIFA Women’s World Cup has taken centre stage as well as global communication strategies, drawing global attention as the media employs key themes to shape perceptions and illuminate the tournament’s core values. From Viewing & Enjoying to Women in Sports, Rankings, Cultural Inclusivity and Representation, […]

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This month, we chat to Shirish Kulkarni, Director of Monnow Media about effective storytelling. He shares his research about why the way we tell stories needs to change to make news more engaging, inclusive and informative. 

Isentia’s Insights Director, Ngaire Crawford also shares some of the trends we’re seeing across social and traditional media, and how we’re seeing the notion of ‘effective’ storytelling change for our clients.

https://youtu.be/tz8LuhjuzBA

Ngaire Crawford talks about the storytelling trends across social and traditional media

3:41 - Mainstream media is talking about:

  1. Back to end-to-end COVID coverage with a regular cadence of updates
  2. Anti-maskers are in the spotlight and the phrase “Bunnings Karen” has returned over 6000 media items
  3. A slight increase in global coverage related to second waves of the virus.
  4. Considerable reduction in racial inequality discussions
  5. Across New Zealand where COVID isn’t quite the main focus, there is a lot of coverage about elections and electioneering.

 

5:12 - Across social media, there is a lot of division:

  • Between openly calling out misinformation, and perpetuating misinformation.
  • Between those ‘doing the right thing’ and those who are not. This is more about calling out individuals rather than organisations.

6:12  - On Google Trends, people across Australia and New Zealand are looking for search terms:

  1. Kerry Nash (Bunnings Karen)
  2. A lot of TV shows and celebrity content (Kanye West etc)
  3. Sports (NZ)

 

7:06 - In terms of storytelling, it’s important to understand the context in which you are communicating. The things to consider:

  • Impact of video - divisiveness can breed “recipients” or “evidence” based culture. Video is the easiest way for messages to spread quickly and for media to lift the story. Consider this from a risk perspective (media and customer service training) as well as your content - it might not the time for beautifully produced videos just yet.
  •  
  • Echo chambers - heightened emotional states can mean that audiences seek out information that confirms information they want to believe. Keep an eye on misformation that’s relevant to you and your organisation.
  •  
  • Media as a moral high-ground: Anti-maskers, “fake news” etc can cause a really visceral reaction from the public, and from news media. Unfortunately, this misunderstands the context of those arguments.

9:37 - The narratives to watch at the moment:

  • Rules fatigue: People are getting tired of being told what to do, it’s a natural reaction (psychological reactance) but it’s something to be really mindful of when communicating right now. There is a heightened emotional state, especially for those who are entering a second lockdown.

Shirish Kulkarni talks effective storytelling

10:26 - Over the past year I’ve conducted research on how we can better tell news stories, and my findings can be applied across the communications industry. We are all storytellers in one way or another.

11:00 - We’re hardwired for stories, at an anthropological and neuroscientific level, stories help orientate us within the world. They are a virtual reality simulator helping us practice for real life.

11:53 - Typically, news stories do the opposite of traditional storytelling (i.e have a beginning and an end to the story). Instead, we (journalists) use the inverted pyramid structure where the top line is the conclusion and then filters down to the least interesting or least important information. 

12:39 - The concept of the inverted pyramid structure dates back to the days of the telegraph, the original newswire. It was expensive, unreliable and it made sense to put the most important information at the beginning, just in case you lost the end of it. Although we don’t use the technology of the telegraph anymore, we still use the habits formed by that technology which continue to define journalism and communications.

13:03  - We conducted research with 1300 participants and the results showed users prefer stories that work in a straightforward and linear structure, much like traditional stories.  More information was picked up as it fits with how we are hard-wired to navigate the world.

13:28 - Journalists are failing because they are ignoring what users need from the news. In an attempt to reverse that, I came up with six key principles that should be at the forefront of our minds when telling our stories.

  1. Content - is it useful or relevant and does it help us understand the world better?
  2. Context - are we providing enough context? News largely focuses on breaking or moving news but that's often to the detriment of context, analysis and understanding. 
  3. Users have agency - they are not just passive victims of the news, they can be part of creating solutions and want the opportunity to choose how to engage with the news.
  4. Tone - we need to consider the tone we are using. We tend to fall back on journalist language which is old fashioned and formulae.
  5. Diversity and inclusion  - are crucial when storytelling. It’s about telling different stories, ones that reflect the richness of our societies. This is very important.
  6. Inverted pyramid - is this the best structure to tell a narrative? What are the alternatives? What we are doing isn't working so we’ve got nothing to lose by trying something different.

 

17:24 - Based on these principles, I created a number of prototypes and tested them with users. When compared with a BBC news article, users overwhelmingly preferred our prototype. They picked up more information in less time and found it easier to navigate. This proves there is a better way of telling stories, we just need to be prepared to think differently and put users at the centre of our thinking.

Q&A

18:40 - How do you think the media coverage of COVID-19 applies to your research?

Media has a crucial role. The only justification to have journalism is to provide reliable and useful information. There’s a big thing about news being about entertainment and there’s a focus on the drama of news rather than the information of news. What do we need to know? We are users as well as the audience and this should be taken into consideration when wanting to drive engagement.

23:46 - Do you have any tips for making the linear narrative structure more effective especially through face to face presentations rather than emails?

What really worked for us was using a "narrative accordion". We had 5 questions, and the answers could be expanded and read based on the user's interest. It didn't matter whether the question was at the beginning or end as it was up to the interest of the user. Simplify what you’re saying, and question whether it’s useful to your users.  

28:15 - What have you learned about younger generations and their behaviours?

People have an incorrect characterisation of young people and get their needs completely wrong. There is a perception you can’t make a video longer than two minutes for the younger generation because they have a short attention span and are unable to comprehend what is being said. This generation is the most emotionally and culturally intelligent generation we have ever had. Young people aren’t put off by complexity or depth, they are craving it. Don’t underestimate them.

If you would like to view other Webinar Isentia Conversations: Communicating through Change:

Isentia Conversations: with Katherine Newton at RU OK?

Isentia Conversations: with Bec Brown at The Comms Department

Isentia Conversations: with Rochelle Courtenay at Share the Dignity

Isentia Conversations: with Rachel Clements at Centre for Corporate Health

Isentia Conversations: with Helen McMurdo at MTV

Isentia Conversations: with Daniel Flynn at Thank You

Isentia Conversations: with Campbell Fuller at Insurance Council of Australia

Isentia Conversations: with Craig Dowling from Mercury 

Isentia Conversations: with Stella Fuller from Bright Sunday

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Isentia Conversations with Shirish Kulkarni from Monnow Media

We chat to Shirish Kulkarni, Director of Monnow Media about effective storytelling. He shares his research about why the way we tell stories needs to change to make news more engaging, inclusive and informative.

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