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Whitepaper
June 20, 2019

The social numbers

Don’t be deceived by the tip of the iceberg

Likes, shares, comments and retweets. These social media metrics are often used by marketers to measure the performance of their campaigns or contents. However, this is just the tip of an iceberg. In this whitepaper, Isentia reveals why.

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R u ok?

Challenge

R U OK? is a public health campaign founded in Australia, focusing on creating a world where we’re all connected and protected from suicide. Their mission is to inspire and empower people to meaningfully connect with those in their world and lend support when they are struggling with life.

R U OK? focuses on building the motivation, confidence, and skills of the help-giver—the person who can have a meaningful conversation with someone who is struggling with life. R U OK? encourage four steps to have a meaningful conversation:

  1. 1. Ask R U OK?
  2. 2. Listen
  3. 3. Encourage action
  4. 4. Check in

R U OK? have a host of free resources to help you ask, ‘are you OK?’ and lend support to the people in your world every day of the year. Because when we genuinely ask, ‘are you OK?’, and are prepared to talk to them about how they’re feeling and what’s going on in their life, we can help someone who might be struggling to feel connected and supported long before they’re in crisis.

The annual R U OK? Day campaign is their National Day of Action, where people are reminded that every day is the day to start a meaningful conversation that could change a life. 

To assess their impact and gauge progress towards their goal of behavioural change, R U OK? sought to evaluate the effectiveness of their campaign messaging, ambassadors, and public discourse in their communities. Additionally, they wanted to understand the main narrative in these communities to shape their future campaign themes and strategies.

Our approach

Through a number of different datasets, Isentia provided the organisation with comprehensive insight into its campaign messaging as well as the volume and quality of media reporting on R U OK? This valuable information was obtained through Isentia’s Media Analysis reports shedding light on common themes, trends, and messages associated with R U OK? through media coverage.

“We know Isentia are trusted friends. We know we can come to the team with any ideas or queries and be provided with a great solution. Our long term partnership has allowed us to go on this journey together, seeing such change in the Australian landscape for health and suicide prevention.

Isentia’s reports have helped us (and continue to) understand the impact of our coverage and the reach of our campaign messaging, and that every day is the day to ask, are you OK?”

Katherine Newton, R U OK? CEO

Katherine Newton, R U OK? CEO

The analysis revealed the following:

  • - Message penetration in the media
  • - Impact of ambassadors and spokespeople
  • - Campaign effectiveness in raising awareness and encouraging meaningful conversations
  • - Measurement of media coverage quality and tone for R U OK? 
  • - Insights into community, workplace and school engagement with R U OK? and the types of positively received content.
Having a meaningful conversation

Outcome

Isentia’s support to R U OK? has helped them measure their campaign impact consistently over time.

Our analysis quantified the success of R U OK? in reducing negative portrayals of suicide and stigma in the media and R U OK? events. With an impressive 87% national brand awareness and a 25% participation rate, it highlights the positive and supportive behaviour that emerges when individuals actively engage in these conversations.

Media coverage, including increased editorial attention, has effectively promoted R U OK?, raising awareness and fostering an important culture around meaningful conversations. 

The organisation’s brand mentions, advertising space rate (ASR), and cumulative audience figures have consistently increased each year, also indicating the successful penetration of their messages. The most prominent messages, in terms of volume, emphasise that R U OK? builds awareness of suicide and mental health issues, while the annual campaign day helps to build community capacity to have meaningful conversations with the people in their world.

What our analysis showed

Our analysis demonstrates the positive changes in the Australian landscape regarding health and suicide prevention. People are more engaged, have a better understanding of their role in suicide prevention, and desire deeper connections. This means genuinely asking, ‘are you OK?’, and knowing how to connect with and support others when they express they are not okay. 

Isentia’s data and analysis not only fulfilled their objectives but exceeded their expectations. The reports provided are invaluable, so much so that we are their sole earned media insights provider.

These Media Analysis reports helped the organisation understand the impact of their messaging on their audience. They learned what worked and what didn’t, providing insight for future messaging and their content development strategy. These reports have also served as a valuable tool for reporting to the R U OK? board of directors, funding partners, and government. Providing concrete evidence of the organisation’s campaign impact in the media and success in stimulating community action for suicide prevention.

R U OK?

“Isentia’s Media Analysis reports help us look at the narratives to see where people are at and where we can take them next.”

For more information on how Isentia's data and insights can help your organisation, simply fill out the form below.

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Case Study
How R U OK? harness Isentia Insights for their campaign strategy

Challenge R U OK? is a public health campaign founded in Australia, focusing on creating a world where we’re all connected and protected from suicide. Their mission is to inspire and empower people to meaningfully connect with those in their world and lend support when they are struggling with life. R U OK? focuses on […]

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The Your Right to Know Campaign was established in response to deteriorating media freedom. It prompted an unprecedented collaboration between competitors including Nine, News Corp, the ABC, SBS, The Guardian and journalists’ union in the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance. All in an effort to call for reforms to protect public interest from Australia.

Politicians dominate the discussion

On Monday 21 October, Australian media organisations blacked-out text on print newspapers, instead of showing front-page headlines. The first bold statement instigated by campaign members. As a result, it created a lot of chatter in the media -  mentions spiked at 3,042 across across social and traditional media.

Data analysed by Isentia, shows in the week October 21 to October 25 2019 there were a total of 6,242 mentions of "press freedom." 

While it was the media who started the campaign on Monday, through the week politicians had 60% share of voice on the topic. Prominent journalists followed with 22.8% and CEOs of media organisations 15.3%.

Groups leading the conversations. Key term used ‘Press Freedom’ 21 - 25 October 2019

Top spokespeople

Despite journalists and media organisations instigating the campaign, politicians dominated the conversations. The top spokespeople discussing the topic for the week period were:

1.Scott Morrison, Australian Prime Minister - 95 mentions

2.Anthony Albanese, Federal Opposition Leader - 38 mentions

3. Barnaby Joyce, Nationals MP - 33 mentions

4.Hugh Marks, CEO Nine Entertainment - 33 mentions

5. Campbell Reid, Senior Journalist, News Corp - 32 mentions


Dominating the discussions, politicians generated negative sentiment around “press freedom”.

Sentiment of the keyword “press freedom” in the media from 21-25 October

Background

Over the past two decades, 75 laws related to secrecy and spying have been passed through parliament. These laws criminalise some practices within journalism and penalise whistleblowers. Government wrongdoings could be hidden and important decisions regarding public information may be concealed. As a result, Australia has been described by the New York Times as the world’s most secretive democracy. 

Media organisations are taking action with the ‘Your Right to Know’ campaign. They’re determined to change the government's approach to media freedom so they can provide Australians with essential information.  They’re pressing for the introduction of a Media Freedom Act, which they say would be advantageous for national security, press freedom and democracy, and ensure legitimate journalism is not subject to criminal charges.

If you would like to receive unparalleled media insight or to better understand trends in the media, get in touch with us today.

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Blog
Your Right to Know: Who is leading the Media Freedom conversation?

The Your Right to Know Campaign was established in response to deteriorating media freedom. It’s prompted an unprecedented collaboration between competitors. All in an effort to call for reforms to protect public interest from Australia.

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has published anti-greenwashing guidelines for businesses making environmental and sustainability claims. Despite these efforts, media coverage of greenwashing, particularly focusing on senate inquiries and regulatory court cases against major offenders, continues to expose brands and industries stretching the truth in their sustainability messaging. This exposure is causing a growing disconnect between consumers and corporations, as audiences increasingly call out misleading practices and question the authenticity of corporate sustainability claims.Isentia’s sister brand, Pulsar conducted recent research exploring media and public discourse around sustainability. Part of this report examines how greenwashing is covered in the news and on social media, particularly in relation to the broader sustainability discourse. Let’s investigate those themes in more depth here.

Social media data is decreasing while online news activity re-engages, indicating incident-led conversations. Regulatory bodies like the ACCC, and state and federal governments are tackling greenwashing by identifying major corporate offenders and their misleading actions, such as 'recyclable' packaging, carbon credit misuse, lack of transparency in fossil fuel investments, and exploitation of government climate programs. Audience conversations often align with news coverage on these matters.
The term in Australia particularly gained traction among social audiences around November 2022 when the UN called out the Australian government for allowing the use of carbon offsets in corporate emissions reduction strategies. News of the apparent collusion between the government and large corporations has caused public faith and trust in both to dwindle. As these stories emerge, Australia's positive sustainability impact on the international stage is significantly undermined.

https://twitter.com/janegarcia/status/1591662729664004099

When we look at which sectors are most discussed within the greenwashing topic, energy, finance, and food take the lead.

Much of the discussion regarding the energy and finance sectors emphasises their interconnectedness, particularly the investment by financial institutions, including super funds, in environmentally harmful industries. Despite some super funds claiming to offer options that avoid unsustainable investments, reports have revealed that they collectively hold millions of shares in the fossil fuel industry. 

Many industries are being criticised for using carbon credits, such as REDD+ offsets, to appear more sustainable. Advertising, marketing, and public relations also play a significant role in promoting misleading sustainability initiatives, thereby contributing to greenwashing. However, stakeholders are aware that the advertising and communications industries have a huge impact on the profitability and success of an industry or product. The European Union’s Product Environmental Footprint classification system, for example, has been criticised by Australia’s wool industry for being unfair to wool products and for greenwashing. This, they argue, not only undermines the pursuit of a green transition within fashion but also damages a vital industry.

Mercer stands out as a most mentioned brand within the topic of greenwashing. This is due to ASIC pursuing a civic penalty case against them which alleged they misled members about its sustainability investments. This is groundbreaking for audiences to witness as it would be the first time the consumer watchdog has taken a company to court for alleged greenwashing.

https://twitter.com/BillHareClimate/status/1630404986130808833

Much of the conversation focuses on misinformation and lack of transparency in communication and marketing. Certifications like Fair Trade are being questioned, particularly for products like chocolate, and eco-certification for farmed salmon. It particularly muddies the waters for political figures when they get entangled with brands coming under scrutiny for such greenwashing.

https://twitter.com/JosieMcskimming/status/1750987402691362858

Furthermore, some companies feature in the media conversation due to their involvement in a senate enquiry initiated in March 2023, with a report expected by June 28th this year. 

Analysis of the ANZ reveals a shift in mindset, with consumers emphasising individual actions for solutions like composting or guerilla campaigns on mislabelled environmentally friendly salmon products. Grassroots and individual activism leading to actions like divestment from conflicting companies. Community groups like uni student clubs showcase how groups with shared values and experiences can make noise and incite change with how universities invest. However, there are ongoing debates as to whether it’s the role of sectors like higher education or Super Funds to prioritise the environmental implications of their decisions.

The rise in curiosity around greenwashing highlights the growing consumer demand for transparency and genuine sustainability from brands. As regulatory scrutiny and public awareness increase, brands must ensure their sustainability claims are genuine or face reputation damage.

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Blog
The Eco-Spin Cycle: how brand’s sustainability claims come out in the wash

Regulators are cracking down on corporate greenwashing, but what does media discussion reveal about its impact on brand-consumer relations?

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As the spotlight on sustainability intensifies year by year, it has become a focal point for legislators, media entities, and audiences worldwide.

This dynamic environment demands that brands and institutions elevate their standards in messaging and actions, holding them accountable like never before. For professionals in the PR & Comms realm, it is imperative to grasp not only how sustainability is being discussed but also the potential pitfalls, such as greenwashing, and gain a profound understanding of the diverse audiences receiving these messages.

Explore over 20 beautifully crafted pages of data visualisation that illuminate audience insights sourced from social media, news outlets, and search engines. Gain valuable perspectives on how one of the defining issues of our time is being discussed and understood.

Our exploration of this crucial topic delves deep into uncovering insights that are indispensable for crafting effective strategies, both tactical and long-term:

-Unraveling trends in the sustainability conversation

-Assessing brand & industry reputations

-Navigating greenwashing & misinformation

-Understanding the diverse audiences of sustainability

To access these insights, simply fill in the form

Download now

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Blog
Sustainability: Mapping the Media & Public Conversations

From accusations of greenwashing to the role of misinformation, we explore the comms landscape around sustainability.

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