Philip Sheldrake

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Tag: robert phillips

Big data. Big trust.

trust

This morning, my colleague Hector Arthur pointed me to a new report from Ovum's Mark Little knowing I'd have a few comments to make. In the corresponding blog post – "Big Trust is Big Data’s missing DNA" – Mark kicks off with:

In the rush to monetize customer data, companies risk diminishing the trust people have in services and brands. Sustaining and growing people’s trust in services is not just about “doing the right thing,” but also makes commercial sense.

As I like to say in other words, big data is worth more when wielded with customers rather than at them. Ovum calls this approach Big Trust.

Big Trust strategies are designed to build “trust equity” with customers as a basis for making core services stickier, for selling new services, and for brokering personal data to commerce under a new set of trust principles.

Public relations

The outlook is informed, directly or indirectly I know not, by the excellence theory of public relations presented by James E Grunig more than twenty years ago, which champions the two-way symmetrical PR model. This model uses communication to negotiate with the public, resolve conflict and promote mutual understanding and respect between the organization and its stakeholders. My Six Influence Flows model from 2011 extends this work for the digital / social / big data age, and you can find out more about PR models in my post here if it's your thing.

Of course, this is not how the majority of practitioners practice PR, deferring instead to publicity and 'spin', which may be associated more closely with distrust than trust. But excellent practice is championed if, as a shrewd procurer, you know where to look. Read more

In conversation with Robert Phillips, CEO Edelman UK

I really enjoyed having the opportunity to ask Robert Phillips (@citizenrobert), CEO Edelman UK, his opinion on the state of the PR profession. Robert believes that public relations is at a pivotal moment when, confronted by the brutal transparency of social media, the profession has the opportunity to embrace the public information and two-way symmetric models as the default rather than the exception, ditching the spin and persuasion attitudes and connotations. Resigning them to history, or at least to publicists.

Robert emphasises the re-emergent role of the citizen, an idea that appears to have played a distant second fiddle to the consumer in recent decades. And if this rings your bell you might be interested in Robert's Citizen Renaissance project.

I was particularly interested in Robert's assertion that social media is about behaviour; it is not a "channel", and PRs who regard it as one are getting it wrong.

And Robert capped this off by giving us his four outcomes for PR programmes (as opposed to outputs):

  1. Increase trust – referring to Edelman's annual Trust Barometer
  2. Deeper communities
  3. Driving behavioural change; of citizens, consumers, business
  4. And ultimately commercial success.

Lastly, Ben Matthews (@benrmatthews) gets a big thumbs up from Robert, and my co-host Stephen Waddington (@wadds). FYI, they're talking about Ben's Bright One initiative (@brightonecomms), a volunteer-run communications agency for the third sector.