CTPA Annual Report 2012 - page 18

Digital (R)evolution
Extending the CTPA’s Communication Journey
The media landscape is changing beyond recognition.
Increased connectivity, mobility and accessibility have created
a 24/7 flow of information. This proliferation of content
means we are constantly in filter-mode, sifting, digesting
and sharing information. In fact, we share more content from
more sources with more people more often and more quickly
than ever before.
Ever-expanding content on the Internet is placing new
demands on companies and brands, and on organisations
like the CTPA. It’s no longer enough to broadcast your
message to the world on your terms: consumers increasingly
expect a two-way dialogue. They expect to be listened to,
and to receive relevant content in return within the channels
and formats that they choose to consume. More often than
not, consumers prefer their content in bite-sized, shareable
chunks, but above all they expect facts that are transparent
and arrive fast.
Meeting emerging expectations is critical to trust
How well, or not, companies and brands respond to these
emerging expectations is fundamental to making or breaking
consumer trust, and an organisation like the CTPA is no
exception. At the end of 2011 we set out an evolved
ambition for the Association: ‘to be the authoritative public
voice of a vibrant and responsible UK industry trusted to
act responsibly for the consumer’. Today it is clear that our
success in achieving this ambition, and our ability to embrace
the changing media environment in which we operate,
are inextricably linked.
As far back as 2007, CTPA identified the importance of a
robust digital communications strategy for building trust.
We commissioned a comprehensive digital audit to
understand how our audiences used digital channels to
obtain information about our industry and its products,
especially in response to safety scare stories in the media.
The findings were clear: there was a significant information
gap for consumers, journalists and stakeholders searching
for relevant content online.
In response we created our public-facing website,
which provides science-based
facts about key issues concerning the safety and efficacy
of industry products, answers common questions and
responds to topical news stories. It also includes a Media
Alerts feed to which journalists and stakeholders can
subscribe. Linking out, wherever possible, to further
information from authoritative, independent third parties
reinforces our willingness to be transparent as an industry and
to respond to our audiences’ concerns - key building blocks
of trust.
The website has proven to be a resounding success,
with traffic and time spent on site increasing year-on-year.
There was an average of 6,000 visits per month between
August 2011- August 2012, and the site enjoyed 52,514
unique users during the period with an up-lift in
search-generated traffic, where consumers are searching
via a series of keywords and clicking onto the site as the
most relevant destination for them. Spikes in traffic mirror
when stories about the safety or efficacy of the industry’s
products are published in mainstream media; an encouraging
sign that the site is being used as intended.
“Social Sharing And Influence – Understanding Social Influence
Online”, Future Foundation
“The Psychology of Sharing: Why Do People Share Online?”
conducted by the New York Times Customer Insight Group,
The trend of sharing content online is rising:
four in ten consumers aged 16-74 share content
online. This climbs to over six in ten among
49% of consumers say sharing allows
them to inform others of products they care
about and potentially change opinions or
encourage action.
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