In Brief: Business Cards; CEO Confidence

March 1, 2018

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Why Entrepreneurs Are Abandoning Traditional Business Cards

To stand out from the competition, some professionals are abandoning traditional black-and-white business cards in favor of oddball objects and gimmicky mementos, writes The Wall Street Journal.

For instance, Florida business owner Randall Ostrow gives out wooden cards in jigsaw shapes so that when people tinker with it at their desk, his name is always in front of their face, while famed hacker Kevin Mitnick offers lightweight metal business cards that hold a removable set of flat lock-picking tools.

For Jay Baer, a digital marketing expert who gave a General Session presentation at PRSA’s 2017 International Conference, business cards can be a practical tool. Because his cards also function as bottle-openers, his name and brand often become accidental fixtures in the lives of the people he networks with.

“If you’re going to make something, [make sure that it has] disproportionate usefulness,” said Baer at last year’s Conference. “People tell me: ‘Your card is in my golf bag, your card is in my boat.’”


Edelman: Media Trust Is Plunging Around the Globe

Edelman’s 2018 Trust Barometer shows that, for the first time, media is the least-trusted institution globally. According to the study released on Jan. 18, 22 of 28 countries around the world, including the United States, distrust the media, with only the trust percentages in China, India and Indonesia exceeding 60.

Not all forms of content are unreliable for respondents, though. Edelman found that people define the media as a conglomerate of publishers (journalists, brands and influencers) and platforms (social, search and news apps), and while the average trust in U.S. platforms is at 42 percent, trust in American publishers is at 53 percent.

On a global scale, 59 percent of all respondents feel they can trust journalism, marking a 5 percent increase from last year’s study. Writes Edelman President and CEO Richard Edelman, “People’s concern about fake news and their willingness to listen to experts show that they yearn for knowledge.”


U.S. CEOs Feeling Confident About 2018

In its 21st Annual Global CEO Survey, released in late January ahead of this year’s World Economic Forum meeting, PwC reported that 52 percent of the U.S. executives polled feel confident about revenue growth over the next year.
 
PwC Chairman Bob Moritz attributes this stark increase from the past two years – in 2017 and 2016, respectively, only 39 and 33 percent of CEOs felt confident about the imminent future — to the tax overhaul and the strength of the economy. “It’s no surprise CEOs are so bullish,” he said.
 
Long-term optimism, compared with this immediate confidence, isn’t nearly as strong. According to PwC, CEOs usually report a higher level of confidence regarding the future than they do the short term; in 2017, 17 percent of U.S. executives were more confident about the next three years than they were about the next 12 months. However, for 2018, only 1 percent of CEOs were more optimistic about the future than the next year.


Brands Should Use Social Media to Speak Out on Politics, Study Finds

According to the SproutSocial study “Championing Change in the Age of Social Media,” consumers feel social media is the best place for brands to take public stands on pressing issues.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents say they would be receptive to learning about a brand’s views via platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, while only 25 and 18 percent, respectively, claim they’d feel the same way about similar messages in print advertisements and on billboards.

A reason for this preference may be that most respondents already tend to trust companies on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn: Sixty-seven percent believe brands are credible when speaking out on social and political issues on social media.

However, it’s important for brands to not try and win over new customers by being outspoken about every topic. “Most individuals already have firm beliefs about today’s most controversial social and political issues,” writes SproutSocial. “So, despite brands’ best efforts, they aren’t likely to change anyone’s mind by speaking up.”

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