Trending: Authentic Style

May 2018

Photograph: iStock


Just the Facts

We’ve all read and likely unknowingly spread false news online. Lies spread faster than the truth, according to a report by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab. The report states that false news was more “novel” than true news, which suggests that people were more likely to share novel information. As intriguing as false news may be, misinformation and hoaxes mislead and damage reputations. Short of confirming the accuracy of every piece of content read (on sites devoted to fact-checking such as,,, and, consumers have become more alert to claims that ring false. 

Trust is in decline and especially in the media, according to the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer. People are looking for the truth, and your content should deliver it. One of the study’s takeaways for businesses points to the three most important attributes for building trust in a company: treating employees well; offering high-quality products and services; and listening to customers by putting people—and addressing their challenges—at the center of everything a company does.

Marketers may believe their companies are insulated from the effects of bogus news, but it’s having a direct effect on the way consumers are viewing brands. Results of a survey from Hill Holliday reveal that 64% of respondents are likelier to shop with a brand that is truthful about its business. Hill Holliday’s infographic, “The Fake Economy,” is peppered with lots of salient data points, like 59% of consumers would stop shopping with a brand they love if it presented fake content and 54% of respondents say being aware of things like fake news changes how they interact with digital content.

Journalism and marketing have collided to create brand journalism—storytelling for your brand. Companies are publishing “information only” content, rather than sales pitches or marketing content. This type of content builds trust with customers or prospects and promotes a company’s reputation as a thought leader in their area of expertise.

The best way to uphold the reputation of a brand and achieve competitive distinction is by using writers that have backgrounds as seasoned journalists. They are skilled at creating compelling narratives and supporting them with vetted facts (and not by using fact-checking sites, but by speaking directly to sources). They use workflows that include fact-checking proofreaders that assure what a writer has penned is correct.


The Real Revolt (#beautybeyondsize)

Plus-sized model Ashley Graham recently created an ad campaign for her bathing suit line sans the transformative powers of Photoshop, which would have otherwise met an ideal industry standard. “Reminder: being authentic is beautiful,” Graham wrote on Instagram.

By launching this campaign, Graham has embraced the notion that marketing objectives aligned with her company’s values will build relationships to win the hearts and minds of the community she serves.


It’s Time to Get Authentic and Creative

Giving your audience real stories paired with relatable visual content reinforces authenticity and creativity—two of the biggest drivers in 2018 photography and video trends.

Storyblocks 2018 Trends Guide compared year-over-year trends in digital storytelling with data sourced from almost 64 million searches on their stock photography and video site. The guide found that portraying “real” people (candid and authentic category) is one of the fastest growing trends with an increase of 134% searches, and street photography of people with unique faces and voices increased by 162%. The guide also reports that video trends are favoring images of global iconic cities (with an increase of 1,285%). And top-view angles and flat-view compositions (objects laying flat) are up by 486%.

Thank you for reading this,

—Maureen Joyce