For high net worth individuals (HNWs), the new multi-channel media landscape brings risk and opportunity in equal measure
Let’s start with three incredible statistics:
- 31 per cent of the world’s population uses social media
- 46 per cent has access to the internet
- 99 per cent is reached by mobile
In the last decade or so, the way the world connects and consumes media has utterly transformed. The more we use handheld devices that live in our pockets, the more frequently we read, watch and swipe our way through news and information. The age of newspaper and television dominance has come to an end. Curiously, this has caused both convergence and divergence: stories are now told through every channel at the same time, in a variety of different formats.
But what does this mean? Well, the frantic, fractured environment has evolved at the same time as a trend towards transparency, which has made the media more difficult to navigate for anyone who finds themselves in its glare.
For HNWs – who can often be perceived by newspapers, bloggers and documentary makers as ‘public property’ – the consequences can be particularly severe. To have even a fighting chance of managing their reputation today, HNWs must invest in their profile or risk being caught out.
The good news is that the new equation brings opportunities, as well as risks and responsibilities.
Of course, the rise of fake news has been troubling. This is not merely because victims of false or misleading stories face damage to their reputation, it is also that people who fear this outcome must pre-emptively protect themselves from it. There is now an expectation that every organisation must be ready to engage, explain and respond.
But, here, there is a silver lining. Because once this process begins, you quickly realise that effectively being forced to participate brings with it the chance to lead the debate. My advice? Do not underestimate the power of being timely and transparent, never be afraid of taking a position, and always acknowledge the trend towards transparency. Authenticity matters.
Finally, as everyone becomes a publisher – even corporates and governments – it’s important to remember that it is getting more difficult to produce great content with messages that cut through. This is where the value of a good communications adviser will become apparent, especially if you can find someone who realises that, today, emotion often delivers much more than reason alone.
This article was originally written for and published by Spear’s Magazine.