NewsMediaWorks is the industry body in Australia representing the major news media publishers. The organisation covers regulatory, environmental, and commercial issues with a key focus on promoting the benefits of news media to advertisers — those same advertisers concerned about the lack of trust and transparency of digital platforms.

A recent study by AdTrust provided NewsMediaWorks publishers’ commercial teams with a demonstrable point of difference from other media: trust.

NewsMediaWorks already had established trust as a key metric for news media when we commissioned this wave of AdTrust research. More than 1,400 Australians were measured against an established AdTrust matrix, giving us a net trust metric for both content and ads across media channels.

Key insights of this study included:

  • Newspapers have the most trusted content and the most trusted ad environment.
  • News Web sites are the most trusted digital platforms.
  • Social media scored lowest across all measures.
  • There is a direct correlation between content trust and ad trust.

Importantly, this study also showed greater trust in advertising leads to greater purchase intent with 58% of respondents agreeing with the statement: The more I trust the ads, the more likely I am to buy a product or service.”

The recent AdTrust study found that trust in media correlates with trust in advertising.
The recent AdTrust study found that trust in media correlates with trust in advertising.

This insight informed our central premise on the power of context in advertising.

Thinkerbell, the agency we engaged to bring this study to life, summarised our overall findings like this: “What sets news media brands apart from other forms of media is their journalism. We want to ensure advertisers understand that being seen within this context is extremely important for brands.”

Our challenge was determing how to promote these research findings to the broadest possible cross-section of advertising decision makers: CEOs, CMOs, media agencies, and business owners of all sizes that use our national, metro, regional and community titles for display and classified advertising solutions. 

To accomplish this, we targeted these decision makers with “The Truth Builds Trust” campaign, based on this core expression of the research insights: 

  • They say the company you keep defines you.
  • So if you surround yourself with the truth, you will in turn be trusted.
  • As Australia’s most-trusted news media.
  • We’re the ideal place for brands to be seen and believed.
  • The truth builds trust.

The campaign kicked off with a cover wrap in The West Australian with a top line of copy split between the front and back page to drive home the point about context.

A dramatic cover wrap in The West Australian featured a single line of copy split between the front and back page to drive home the point about the power of truth and context for advertisers.
A dramatic cover wrap in The West Australian featured a single line of copy split between the front and back page to drive home the point about the power of truth and context for advertisers.

The ad messaging was 100% delivered on our member platforms across print and digital, allowing us to highlight their quality editorial environments.

Due to excellent results, we have continued the campaign. All ads have pointed to the The Truth Builds Trust site, which reveals the full results of the AdTrust research. This campaign has helped to open doors for new NewsMediaWorks members, in addition to driving home the importance of trust and context for advertisers.

The latest campaign results include:

  • Significant new traffic to our URL with unique visitors now reaching 57,380 during the campaign (compared to average traffic of 12,133 in prior period).
  • The AdTrust research and the campaign messaging have become key points in major sales pitches for our stakeholders.
  • Two new members, The Guardian Australia and The Saturday Paper, joined NewsMediaWorks in support of the campaign. 
  • Our research study was exposed to a significantly broader audience than we could have achieved through traditional methods.
  • We secured significant public relations coverage of the research and campaign.

Why does this campaign work? The research and the campaign successfully celebrate what we do best: create quality, trusted editorial content that engages audiences during a time when the value of trust is only becoming more important.