Emotions can be a bigger driver than fact in today's world believes Kathy Bloomgarden, global CEO of Ruder Finn. In such a situation how do communicators build trust and equity with their audiences?
One of the ways to do this would be via using tech to identify relevant issues and channels. A big believer in technology, under Bloomgarden, Ruder Finn is focusing on bringing technology at the forefront of communication.
Ruder Finn Interactive to launch in India in 2020
In order to bring its digital expertise to India, in 2020, as per a communication shared with PRmoment India, Ruder Finn is planning to launch Ruder Finn Interactive (RFI), a subsidiary of Ruder Finn Inc. in India. Ruder Finn said that the RFI brand will be expanded in India through organic and inorganic growth.
Ruder Finn says it is scouting for digital and creative hot-shops for acquisitions for RFI in India.
Bloomgarden who has also authored the book, 'Trust the Secret Weapon of Effective Business Leaders', spoke to PRmoment India on the sidelines of a lecture on the future of PR and why technology will define it.
'Fake News' on digital platforms changes the rules of communication
Even as trust in institutions declines, topics have become more personal and emotional for audiences according to Ruder Finn's Kathy Bloomgarden.
Bloomgarden identified four main drivers of how people perceive communication today, many are being defined by the influence of tech.
She said, "These are the prioritisation of emotions over facts, globalisations of issues through social media, the emergence of viral topics that then spur a sense of urgency to issues and giving priority to topics that directly involve an individual."
The rise of the issue based CEO?
There has never been greater pressure on CEOs' to demonstrate a personal commitment to issues that matter. Bloomgarden said that it is no longer possible for leaders to effectively communicate without showing transparency and action on issues.
Conversely, the rise of personality driven communication combined with fake news creates it own set of problems. Bloomgarden cautioned that, "The rising tide of fake news can make it easier for brands to brush off issues by terming it as fake news."
India more CSR focused
Bloomgarden shared that what India is seeing looks a little different from countries such as the US regarding community and brand action on issues. India opined Bloomgarden is more about action through CSR based projects.
"What communicators should, therefore, avoid doing", shared Bloomgarden is bringing in a one size fits all approach to issue-based communication.
The future of PR is tech
One issue that tends to cut across branding activities is technology. Bloomgarden said that millennials in India have leapfrogged ahead by using tech in different aspects of their lifestyles. The ability of tech to change lifestyle has never been greater.
Which is why, pointed out Bloomgarden, "PR firms today have to become tech firms. They have to learn how to use analytics and segmentation to build better emotional connections."