U7 Research Opportunity: The Value Of Quality News Environments

We are proposing a research study to address this disparity. By building on the Newswork study we would look at how the increased ‘approach response’ to hard-news content translates to increased attention and how that attention results in improved brand outcomes.

The intention is to create a series of controlled environments that give respondents the opportunity to browse both soft and hard news stories on both premium news-brand sites and social media platforms. These stories will be specifically chosen to include current affairs such as the COVID-19 pandemic and social justice movements such as Black Lives Matter as well as ‘safer’ content.

There is an existing body of work that showcases the value of ‘hard-news’ for advertisers. Contrary to the belief of many advertisers, there is insufficient evidence that hard-news stories create a negative halo-effect, instead these environments are just as likely to generate positive response as soft-news would. It appears that brand safety is more of a ‘PR’ issue given the negligible impact on brand perception providing the environment is of sufficient quality.