Sunday, 14 June 2015

Your Youniverse and beyond

It seems fair to say that the modern world is dominated by narratives rather than a search for truth. No doubt it always has been so. Listed below are the top ten global PR agencies and their 2013 fee income, giving us a total of just over four and a half billion dollars. Source.

However, the overall market is much larger and dominated by four big holding companies.

The market share of globally reported revenue—slightly more than $9.7 billion—held by the four giant holding companies, which was around 50 percent three years ago, holds steady at around 45 percent. Their share of the overall global PR industry revenue—now estimated by The Holmes Report at close to $12.5 billion based on the vast number of smaller firms that do not provide revenue figures— remains well under 40 percent.  Source.

If we add in the vast number of people outside the PR agency business, from journalists to press officers, from political pundits and their advisers to partisan amateurs willing to be used then perhaps we begin to grasp the vast scale of narrative manipulation.

Naturally it doesn't stand still. The art of the manipulated narrative has become part of our lives and will only dig deeper, deep into your "Youniverse".

This idea of creating your own "Youniverse" is a perfect example of tapping into our emotional desire to be seen as unique personalities. Public relations professionals must assist companies in learning how to move from more traditional tactics in favour of smarter approaches that extend their personalisation capabilities beyond the PC. The ability to deliver relevant communication across multiple channels will transform these marketing efforts from an unwanted intrusion into a valued service.

Studies have shown that people remember only 20% of what they read (are you still with me?) and that 83% of learning occurs visually. The massive popularity of visual social networks like Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr, demonstrates the emotional power of images to tell stories in a way that is proven to be far more memorable than mere words
. Source.

"Mere words" eh? We don't want too many of those do we? Even supposedly scientific issues are no longer driven by a search for the truth if politics or commerce have their finger in the pie. For example.

Some of the world’s top PR companies have for the first time publicly ruled out working with climate change deniers, marking a fundamental shift in the multi-billion dollar industry that has grown up around the issue of global warming.

Public relations firms have played a critical role over the years in framing the debate on climate change and its solutions – as well as the extensive disinformation campaigns launched to block those initiatives.


Henry Kaye said...

It's taken most of my nearly 84 years to come to the realisation that the vast majority of people (in this country or elsewhere) have little knowledge or understanding of the extent to which the influential individuals in commerce, politics and academia control and manipulate our lives. Many of us may feel that there are wrong things happening in the world but we're wasting our time thinking that we can do anything about them. We are helpless and hopeless.

Demetrius said...

I think I am therefore I maybe depending on what is in the news.

A K Haart said...

Henry - unfortunately I agree. We may deplore these things but when we do we are merely affirming a standpoint which doesn't count.

Demetrius - or not, depending which news you imbibe.