Catalyst issue 3 | 2024: Playing politics Exchange_Lock

Catalyst issue 3 | 2024: Playing politics


There’s nothing worse than waiting to learn the outcome of something. This summer has my nerves in shreds.

We have the Euros about which, as a Scotland fan, I am thankfully just suffering quiet resignation. Then there are the Olympics and Paralympics in Paris, where I’m keeping a close eye on swimmer Faye Rogers as current swimming world champion. Wimbledon is always a must-watch and I’m trying to get excited about golf.

If your sport is more cerebral, we segue into the world of politics where, of course, there has been a nail-biting photo finish between the blue team (Conservatives), the reds (Labour) and the yellow team (Lib Dem). Alright, maybe the results were something of a foregone conclusion but there has been a sprinkling of nerves in the tighter seats.

What’s going to happen in the US in November is currently anyone’s guess and there will certainly be more than a few worrying moments as election day draws near.

With so much going on, the media landscape is arguably busier than ever. Getting heard above the clamour is just the start. Marketers are trying to insert their brands into consumer heads that are simply jam-packed with information.

The political world, in particular, has had a big impact on media, content and communications lately. It feels as if we’re living in a post-truth era. Certainly, some political figures seem to have taken the “speak first, fact-checkme later” approach, and I’d argue that such a cavalier attitude to communications is causing no end of harm.

Our cover story focuses on the influence of electioneering on consumer attitudes to advertising and marketing. The Advertising Association (AA), of which CIM is a council member, announced that 44% of the UK public are concerned about political advertising. According to one interviewee, we are at the centre of a trust crisis.

One answer to a trust crisis is, of course, to build a network of trusted voices. Whether that’s as a consumer listening to friends and family, or reading reviews, we take others’ opinions and counsel seriously. Professionally, we need to make sure we build solid networks, where we can gather new information, make valuable connections and build new relationships, confident we are making the right decision.

In this issue, we feature not one but two different takes on building those trusted networks. We delve into the world of referral networks in Dubai, and learn how to make the most of a connection. to make the most of a connection. Alternatively, we nip over to Miami to find out what one of the newer entrants to the marketing conference circuit has to offer.

Networking is something our profilee, Claire Sadler of the British Heart Foundation, heartily recommends. It’s a way to build your career, to build your business and to solve some gnarly challenges. As the head of marketing in a sector that was badly hit by Covid, she certainly has plenty of those.

Many of our readers will be thinking about how to spend their downtime this summer – a way to escape all the noise, however briefly. For my part, I expect I’ll find myself on the top of a hill or the middle of a lake, somewhere in North Wales.

Whatever your plans, I hope you take Catalyst, as well as some of the latest reads or listens recommended in Spotlight, with you on your travels.

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Morag Cuddeford-Jones Editor, Catalyst magazine CIM
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