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Blog post
July 11, 2023

5 ways to understand your audience online

For every conversation that we have, a compelling story becomes the link between you and your audience. When your stories resonate and relate, the audience will take notice.

To do that, you need to understand the relationship between your brand and its audience and the conversations that grow from that link. Finding those talking points gives you an insight into the types of audiences that follow your brand. 

These conversations and communities allow you to identify and understand your audience on a deeper level. Building on this strong relationship, your brand’s stories remain consistent with your voice and values.

So how do you understand your audience’s conversations?

1. Identify the channels your audience are most active

The channels or mediums are critical in identifying your audiences. This is essential so that you can produce the kind of story they want to hear. The more relevant and updated your content is, the more engaged your audience will be with you.

By analysing your audience, you can create better content that resonates with them. This will help you build a stronger connection with your audience and keep them engaged.

Analyse your audience by:

  • Website visitors — Analysing data from your website can help you identify the types of audiences who have already started their discovery journey about your brand.
  • Customer data — This audience is already engaging with your brand so it is critical that you identify the personas found within this subset.
  • Social media — Driven by conversations around your brand and industry, you can find new personas and demographics to cover trending topics.
Image of Reddit logo with an audience on a blue background
Source: Based on a panel search in Pulsar

For example, by studying the various communities interested in public relations and communications in various sub-Reddit threads, it shows that there is a slightly higher percentage of male Redditors (6.3%) to female users (5.8%). 

There were around 1,500 unique authors in these communities within Reddit. By leveraging these demographic insights on Reddit, you can craft a much compelling narrative based on the channel and the topics and conversations held by your Reddit audience.

2. Identify trending keywords in your industry

In today’s digital realms of search engines and social media, the practice of keyword research is essential for brand storytelling. Finding and researching relevant keywords  ensures the right people see your content. Identifying keywords is crucial to your business because they are related to queries that users in search engines ask.

There were around 1,500 unique authors in these communities within Reddit. By leveraging these demographic insights on Reddit, you can craft a much compelling narrative based on the channel and the topics and conversations held by your Reddit audience.

Image of a keyword cloud on the challenges of PR communicators
Source: Keyword cloud in Pulsar on challenges of the PR & communications industry

By understanding the relationship between keywords and queries, brands can better target their marketing efforts and ensure prospective customers see their message. Insights from social media intelligence can also boost this keyword research process and add current topical trends while delivering relevant queries about your audiences.

Keyword research tools such as Pulsar can help your storytelling by listing all the keywords you need to create content for your brand. Better content and engagement with audiences will boost your brand’s ranking in search results.

3. Monitor mainstream media coverage

As media and technology continue to evolve, it is more important than ever for brands to stay on top of media trends. By monitoring media coverage, brands can ensure that their message is being communicated effectively and reach their target audience.  

Using a media monitoring platform can help you quickly identify negative media coverage as well as spot positive opportunities to engage with your audiences. This engagement in return strengthens your relationship with your audience and builds a healthy reputation.

4. Listen to social media conversations

With 4.6 billion users on social media in 2022 (estimated to rise to 5.8 billion by 2027) conversations can revolve around many topics at any given time. People are jumping from one topic to another so quickly and several trending topics can dominate the overarching social media landscape. 

Staying on top of these topics is critical for brand storytelling and engaging audiences. Many brands are harnessing the power of technology and artificial intelligence to identify these conversations. 

5. Discover topics through Pulsar

Almost everyone searches for information online. With Google dominating 83 percent of the search engine market, it is unsurprising that the company’s name has become the new word for searching information. 

Using platforms such as Pulsar, you can discover trending topics that people are looking for on the search engine. These topics can help in your content creation remain current and relevant. These trending topics reflect what people are interested in and what topics are widely discussed at the moment.

What does audience insight mean?

In recent years, there has been a growing debate about the relationship between traditional and social media. There is no doubt that social media has changed the way we consume information. We are now used to getting our news from Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok. 

But traditional media outlets are still important, especially when it comes to storytelling and discovering new audience-led conversations. We believe they can work together to find your best audiences. 

While social media is great for sharing short snippets of information, traditional media is still the best platform for in-depth storytelling and credibility. This is because traditional media outlets have the resources to invest in long-form journalism.

They also have experienced reporters who know how to find and tell a good story. In an industry-scale research, trust among consumers of online news has waned and this puts a strain on the relationship between your brand and your audiences. New tools such as Pulsar have incorporated new technologies to help them rate news outlets that can be trusted.

Image of graph on misinformation in online news
Source: Pulsar’s misinformation index monitoring news outlets publishing content on the PR & communications industry

Finding audiences in your news coverage

There is so much online news content but what is critical is having high standards on the content you consume. Traditional media is still regulated by industry standards while journalists abide by ethical ones – creating a guard against misinformation.

But what is often overlooked is the role that traditional media plays in shaping the stories that we see on social media. Undeniably, social media platforms provide a more immediate and intimate connection to the events and people we care about. 

However, it is the work of traditional media outlets in covering these stories that set the stage for much of the discussion and debate that takes place on social media. In many ways, social media is now the amplifier of your story, not traditional media.

This symbiotic relationship between traditional and social media presents a huge opportunity for brands to amplify their messages to their audiences — raising their forte of storytelling and finding the right audiences for your brand.

Connect with your audience

The next step for your brand is to find that platform. There are a plethora of options to send your message across to your audience. 

3 things to set up

Create a reason for your audience to contact you

Create your call-to-action (CTA) for your audience. As a brand, you must have a strong CTA in your marketing efforts. A CTA is what drives your audience to take the desired action, whether it’s signing up for your email list, making a purchase straight from the point of discovery, or scheduling a demo consultation. 

To create an effective CTA, start by clearly defining what you want your audience to do. Then, create a sense of urgency and make it easy for them to take action by providing a clear and concise path.

Select your platform

Find out which platform best serves your brand. Do you have thousands of followers on Instagram? Website visitors are actively engaging with your blogs? People are commenting on your Facebook profile? The options below are usually the main platforms that most brands use to tell their story.

  • Website
  • Microsite
  • Blogs
  • Advertising
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Instagram

Tell your story and share as much as you can

The final step would be to share that story with your audience and the general public. There are many ways to share your brand story with your audience. You can use social media, your website, email marketing, and even face-to-face interactions to get your story out there. 

The most important thing is to be clear about who your audience is and what you want to communicate to them. Once you know that, you can tailor your story to fit their needs and interests. If you can tell a compelling story that resonates with your audience, you’ll build a strong brand.

Ready to find your target audiences online? Click here to explore and discover the diverse communities that are following your brand with us.

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data-driven PR

Data-driven PR is a key driver of targeted communications strategies, but the strategy isn’t solely dependent on the large volumes of data being hosted online. The real challenge lies not in quantifying the abundance of information but in our ability to unearth actionable insights from this virtual goldmine. In this web of stakeholder engagement, the true art lies in analysing and applying the wealth of intelligence buried within.

Data lakes are essential for tech businesses but don't get bogged down by the amount of information. The goal is to sort through the maze of data, merging different sources and perspectives using media and stakeholder intelligence. These intelligence tools uses data mining and data science to analyse public, social, and editorial media content. It refers to marketing systems synthesising billions of online conversations into relevant information. When communicating with data, it’s beneficial to keep the following approaches in mind to effectively achieve your objectives.

Unlocking Data's Capabilities

Contrary to popular belief, the volume of data isn't the priority. It's the strategic application that truly matters. For organisations deeply entrenched in the tech sphere, data lakes have become foundational. Yet, let's not get caught in the vortex of sheer volume. Our purpose lies in deciphering the data labyrinth, piecing together the global and the hyperlocal, infusing social and political insights, and fusing disparate data sources. This means blending research surveys, online feedback, web searches, and in intriguing cases - insights from the elusive dark web.

Media and stakeholder intelligence allows clients to discern the intricate narratives woven by their audience.

Consider the following approaches:

  1. Segmentation Strategy: Divide data into stakeholder groups to tailor messaging and strategies effectively.
  1. Strategic Metrics: Define key metrics aligned with goals (e.g. sentiment and engagement) for actionable insights.
  1. Holistic Insights: Combine global media trends, local narratives, and social data using visualisation tools.

Deciphering Stakeholder Dynamics

To unlock the potential of stakeholder engagement in your PR and communications strategies, it’s essential to follow a multi-faceted approach. 

Start by categorising your stakeholders strategically, as this segmentation forms the foundation for creating tailored and impactful engagement strategies. Additionally, keep a close eye on social conversations and online communities, as these platforms provide valuable insights into emerging trends and sentiment. Adaptability is key when it comes to messaging; personalise your communication to address the specific needs and concerns of each stakeholder group. By aiming for authenticity, you can build stronger connections and foster trust.

To unlock stakeholder potential, apply the following:

  1. Stakeholder Map: Categorise stakeholders by power, influence, and relevance to create focused engagement strategies.
  1. Narrative Tracking: Monitor social conversations and online communities to uncover emerging trends and sentiment.
  1. Customised Engagement: Craft messages aligned with stakeholder concerns to enhance authenticity.

Embracing Stakeholder Advocacy

On the journey to authenticity, harnessing the potential of stakeholder advocacy emerges as a vital strategy. This is particularly potent in areas like environmental, social, and governance (ESG) and diversity and inclusion (DNI), where credibility isn't instantaneous but a journey. Collaborating with stakeholders who share similar objectives creates a powerful ripple effect. Their advocacy becomes a strong ally, propelling organisations toward credibility. It's a co-creation of value that resonates and reverberates. 

Harness the powers of stakeholder advocacy with the following:

  1. Advocate Identification: Find stakeholders who share values, especially in ESG or DNI areas.
  1. Partnerships: Collaborate with advocates on initiatives, content, or events for credibility.
  1. Co-Creation: Share narratives with advocates to build trust and resonate with stakeholders.

Turning Theory into Practice

Putting these principles into a tangible context, consider the hypothetical case of an Australian non-profit organisation during the pandemic. As traditional face-to-face engagement became impractical, the organisation could have identified an opportunity to leverage online platforms.

Recognising the increasing digital engagement among their target audience, the organisation explored social media groups dedicated to mental health support. These are opportunities to join conversations and foster authentic connections with individuals seeking guidance during isolation.

By embracing this new avenue, the organisation can not only maintain their engagement but also expand their reach through solutions like virtual support groups, the sharing of helpful resources, and even organised online events to address the community's pressing needs. This adaptability not only showcases their commitment but also demonstrates the power of stakeholder-centric content in an evolving landscape.

Sailing Toward Success

In PR and communications, data is crucial, and insight is valuable. Prioritise stakeholder needs with strategic data segmentation, aligned metrics, and a combination of global and local data. Understand stakeholder dynamics to engage with them effectively. Advocacy and collaboration can build credibility and trust. This discussion empowers PR professionals with tools to translate insights into action.

Ready to turn insights into impact? Enter Isentia's research solutions and media intelligence platform. Seamlessly tackle data segmentation, decode stakeholder dynamics, and embrace authenticity through advocacy. 

Unlock Your Communication Potential with Isentia Today.

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Blog
Navigating Data-Driven PR & Comms in a Stakeholder-Centric Landscape

Data-driven PR is a key driver of targeted communications strategies, but the strategy isn’t solely dependent on the large volumes of data being hosted online. The real challenge lies not in quantifying the abundance of information but in our ability to unearth actionable insights from this virtual goldmine. In this web of stakeholder engagement, the […]

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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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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 rising cost of living is not just an issue in Australia but a global concern that affects countless individuals, with people facing the daunting challenge of affording basic necessities while striving to maintain a decent standard of living. It’s a topic that can touch a nerve for many, but it’s also a dynamic conversation that drives the media, public opinion, and individual experiences. 

What’s driving the cost of living concerns?

A range of factors are driving the cost of living in Australia, with some having more of an impact than others. Using data from our sister company, Pulsar, inflation (as the overarching issue) is gaining the most media coverage as the price of goods and services continues to increase over time.

The top drivers of the cost of living
Source: Pulsar TRAC, 1 Jan - 30 Jun 2023

The chart also shows the rise in energy costs, interest rates, and housing prices (rent and mortgage prices) as other main drivers for cost of living concerns. As energy prices continue to increase, households are feeling the pinch as their expenses soar. And when it comes to housing, whether it's the skyrocketing rent or the burden of increasing mortgage payments, many individuals and families are finding it increasingly challenging to secure affordable accommodation.

Let’s take a closer look at these topics.

Energy fuels the discussion

Energy sources and prices are hot topics in the media, impacting households, affordability, and vulnerable populations. But a troubling discrepancy emerged in the May 2023 Budget: businesses got more attention than households in energy relief measures. Surprisingly, only 13% of media coverage focused on the struggles faced by individuals, while a whopping 29% centered around the politics and policies of Australian businesses. This raises valid concerns about whether the media is truly addressing the needs of Australian communities.

The energy narrative and the cost of living

Sectors feeling the heat of media scrutiny

Media outlets play a crucial role in shaping public opinion and influencing the cost of living. When it comes to specific energy sectors, they have become the subject of intense media scrutiny. Data from our Energy Transition report shows that coal and gas are in the hot seat, with a significant portion of media coverage - 43% for coal and 26% for gas - dedicated to discussing these fossil fuels. This media focus highlights the ongoing conversations surrounding the environmental impact of coal and gas, their contribution to climate change, economic considerations, and the urgent need for policy changes to transition to cleaner energy sources.

Feeling the pinch

The cost of living crisis goes beyond numbers; it’s intertwined with the housing market and interest rates. Escalating housing costs, fueled by rising prices and interest rates, can put immense strain on household budgets, leading to financial stress and widening economic inequality.

But the conversation doesn't stop there. The story behind the data is clear: the cost of living is an issue that affects us all, and the media plays a crucial role in shaping and amplifying the conversation. Google searches and social media activity reflect people’s ongoing concern about the weight of living expenses, especially around RBA announcements. Anxiety emerges as a dominant theme, with a staggering 93% of media coverage highlighting the keyword.

cost of living comparisons
Source: Isentia (print, online, broadcast), Pulsar TRENDS (Twitter), Google Trends, May 1 - July 30 2023

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows living costs have reached an all-time high. Over the past 12 months, all living cost indices have risen between 7.1 percent and 9.6 percent for all households, compared to a 7 percent annual increase in inflation.

The difference largely stems from living cost indices taking into account mortgage interest charges. Housing and interest rates have been the largest contributors to the rise in the cost of living, with home owners feeling the pinch from rising mortgage payments and renters feeling the brunt of it. According to the RBA, the average mortgage size in Australia has increased by 38% in the past decade. According to Pulsar data, unsurprisingly, 84% of Australians are left feeling sad about the cost of living. 

Influential figures shaping the conversation

Data from the Pulsar Platform gives a visual snapshot of how several Australian and foreign individuals and groups are influencing the conversation, including politicians, economists, consumer advocacy groups, and business owners.

who is talking about the cost of living
Source: Pulsar TRAC, 1 Jan - 31 May 2023. Influential people and organisations

Unsurprisingly, the Australian Labor Party (ALP) holds significant influence when it comes to shaping the cost of living conversation in Australia’s political landscape. As the governing body in Australian Parliament, their policies and initiatives subjectively bear the everyday Australian in mind, aiming to tackle the affordability challenges that many face. The ALP resonates with citizens worried about rising living costs due to its focus on income inequality, social justice, and fair economic policies. But are they doing enough?

Treasurer Jim Chalmers, along with other influential ALP members including Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Chris Bowen, and Mick de Brenni, are leading the conversation in an effort to alleviate living expenses and promote income growth. Despite their desire to achieve these outcomes, the public outcry on Twitter shows the frustration Australians are feeling. The Prime Minister and Treasurer are in the firing line, with the public urging more action on the cost of living crisis.

Jim chalmers and the cost of living
online sentiment about the cost of living

How media intelligence can help you navigate the cost of living

Advocacy efforts can be significantly enhanced through the use of social listening and media monitoring. These tools allow you to effectively navigate the dynamic narratives surrounding the cost of living. By tailoring your advocacy approach, you can foster a more equitable and sustainable solution that brings positive change to communities and influences public opinion.

Additionally, by staying well-informed about the ongoing public discourse and trending discussions related to the cost of living, you can develop compelling communication strategies that effectively inform and engage your stakeholders.

Curious about how media intelligence can enhance your communication strategies to connect with your audience? Request a demo here, and our expert team will reach out to help you develop your communication strategies.

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The Story Behind the Data: Navigating the Cost of Living

The rising cost of living is not just an issue in Australia but a global concern that affects countless individuals. Within our shores, people are facing the daunting challenge of affording basic necessities while striving to maintain a decent standard of living. It’s a topic that can touch a nerve for many, but it’s also a dynamic conversation that drives the media, public opinion, and individual experiences.

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