EuroComm18 Interviews: Jesper Andersen on “No Participation without Trust – Using data and evaluation to build effective communication”

Measurement has become a key talking point for the communications function of late. We’ll be shedding light on how to combine trust, data and measurement to create compelling communications campaigns that build strong relationships with stakeholders. We’re delighted to have with us Jesper Andersen, Associate Advisor – Strategy & Insights at CARMA, to talk over the issue, share case studies and help us all understand how trust can be measured, and how this can make a big difference to our overall approach to communications.

We spoke with Jesper to ask him about what she’s planning for EuroComm18. To learn more about the agenda and book your tickets, visit our EuroComm18 event page.

Q: Jesper, can you tell us a little about yourself?

Jesper: My name is Jesper Andersen and I am an independent strategy and insights advisor. I help companies, organisations and authorities link and align their business objectives and their communication objectives and measure their outcomes and impact in meaningful ways.

I have a background of more than 15 years as a communication professional, having worked both a PR consultant and as the head of press relations for VisitDenmark and a major Nordic contracting company called NCC.

I am also a member of AMEC – the Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication, which is a global organization dedicated to setting standards and spreading know-how about measurement and evaluation.

Q: Your focus is on trust and measurement. Can you tell us a little more about this?

The starting point of my presentation is the theme of EuroComm ’18: Communication, technology and participation, with emphasis on participation.

We live in a world where it is increasingly difficult to get people truly involved. The past decade has seen a massive breakdown in trust in institutions as well as public disillusion or outrage leading to acts of protest and defiance, such as Brexit and the Trump election.

At the same time, we are seeing the emergence of online echo-chambers that divide us into ‘tribes’ of near-religious conviction and make it difficult to nuance our point-of-view.

Simultaneously, we are experiencing a very dominant ‘outrage mentality’ online, which causes so-called shitstorms on a near daily basis, blurring our senses to actual problems when they are presented to us. We simply don’t know which things to react strongly to because everything seems be a source of possible outrage these days – and so we get sort of ‘numb’ emotionally.

This presents a great obstacle to us as communicators. How can we inspire people – how can we get people involved in effecting change, if nobody trusts anyone else? If people don’t want to participate?

In his research, James Grunig (the ‘father’ of modern PR research) has described that TRUST basically has three components:

• Competence
• Integrity (fair, just)
• Dependability / Reliability

So, the focus of my presentation is: How can we use that knowledge to construct communication that BUILDS trust? And how can we measure if we are succeeding or not in building trust?

Q: What do you want attendees to learn and do differently?

Jesper: First of all, I would like for them to start thinking about TRUST as a vital business parameter and component in communication today – particularly if they are seeking “license to operate” or trying to get their stakeholders involved.

As communication professionals we are the guardians and custodians of our company or organisations reputation and the trust it holds – we need to make management understand that trust is the foundation of people doing business with us, and we need to act accordingly.

And second, I hope they get a sense of how measurement and evaluation can help them increase the effectiveness of their communication and support them in reaching their business objectives. And feel inspired to go home and start implementing these thoughts in their own organisations.

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