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In a World of Information Overload, Who is Your Trusted Source?

Communication colorful flat iconsEvery day we are saturated with news, information and promotions on all devices and platforms, and from all corners of the world. The Federal Communications Commission announced in December 2013 that across the United States there are 15,358 radio stations and 1,784 TV stations. Additionally, the size of the World Wide Web is now estimated at 4 billion pages and growing. When looking for news and information, or making buying and purchasing decisions, who can we trust?

With the tremendous growth of cable channels competing for our attention, 24-hour news cycles and millions of people getting information on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, it’s a common misperception that network news is now a dinosaur. A recent SF Gate story indicated that viewership for all three major networks’ evening news shows is rising substantially. When asked about this surprising trend, CBS Evening News Anchor Scott Pelley said, “I think people are being driven to brand names in journalism that they feel like they can trust.”

Despite the wealth of news information available on cable networks and blogs, Pelley noted there’s also a tremendous amount of bad or inaccurate information too. Whether it’s a news source, product or brand telling a compelling story, developing trust is essential in the oversaturated information market. Pelly adds, “… it doesn’t matter if you’re carving on a stone tablet or a glass tablet. The rules of storytelling have not changed.”

People need a reason to listen to your message or purchase your product. It’s about creating that point of differentiation that makes you stand out from your competitors and gives people a reason to trust you. It’s your brand promise.

In half-hour network news programs, producers select the 22 minutes of stories they believe to be most impactful and relevant to a mass audience. As communications professionals, we too play the role of storytellers everyday. For brands, organizations and companies we represent, we are always helping them understand how best to tell their stories in a compelling way and giving people a reason to care. We also work with them to determine the correct communications platforms. Ultimately, we help improve relationships and build trust with their target audiences.

So in this oversaturated information era, where do you get your news and why? Who do you trust when making important purchasing decisions? Friends, web reviews, articles? We’d love to hear your thoughts on our Facebook page or on Twitter.

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