Building Brand Trust in the News Landscape: Insights and Strategies

Posted by Victor Z Glenn • May 17, 2024 9:15:00 AM

Few environments hold as much trust and credibility as news sources. A recent PEW Research study among U.S. news consumers sheds light on the deep level of trust they place in the news they consume - an average of four news sources relied upon weekly. The study pointed to a slight dent in that trust and reliance saying, the vast majority of U.S. adults (85%) say local news outlets are at least somewhat important to the well-being of their local community. This includes 44% who say local journalism is extremely or very important to their community.” Interestingly, a somewhat related study by the IAB noted that nearly seven in 10 consumers consider the news sources they use to be trustworthy, underscoring the importance of trust in the news landscape - and consumers lean into various news content types, showing a particular interest in serious and breaking news.

In an industry prone to buzzword bandwagoning, brand safety vendors concerned with cybersecurity vendors often fall into the trap of using trendy terms like AI and blockchain to garner attention and increase their influence. Buyers are becoming increasingly wary of marketing hype and seek authenticity and reliability in brand safety protocols. For brands seeking to navigate the complex landscape of news advertising, building trust is paramount. By aligning with credible news sources, avoiding buzzword-driven marketing tactics, and demonstrating authenticity, brands can establish themselves as trustworthy partners in the eyes of consumers. In an era marked by skepticism and uncertainty, cultivating trust remains the cornerstone of successful brand engagement in the news ecosystem.

The struggles of local news outlets and waning trust in the media notwithstanding, there remains a strong belief in the importance of local journalism. A significant majority of U.S. adults view local news outlets as vital to the well-being of their communities, with many considering local journalists to be in touch with their communities. This reaffirms the value of local news in fostering community connections and trust.

Despite the plethora of tools and growing awareness surrounding brand safety, advertisers continue to face pitfalls, as exemplified by the recent backlash against Apple's "crush" ad. The commercial, which showed many forms of popular media (art, music, games, & more) being compacted by a hydraulic press... when the press lifts, a sleek new iPad sits in place of all that was there before. The intended meaning was, “look at all that this product can fit/do,” but many interpreted it as dystopian bragging on the part of Apple. The uproar over Apple's ad, from general consumers and professional creatives alike, underscores the delicate balance between capturing attention and maintaining brand integrity in today's hyperconnected world, highlighting the importance of vigilance and strategic planning in advertising campaigns. While advertisers strive to align their messaging with trusted news sources and adhere to brand safety protocols, missteps can occur, leading to unintended consequences. 

Topics: Brand Safety, tools, News, trust, AI, cyber security, journalism