The Post-Truth Business Book Summary - The Post-Truth Business Book explained in key points
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The Post-Truth Business summary

Sean Pillot de Chenecey

How to Rebuild Brand Authenticity in a Distrusting World

4.3 (38 ratings)
22 mins
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    The Post-Truth Business
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    Trust is at an all-time low in the post-truth era. 

    Stable societies are unthinkable without people accepting shared truths. That’s why it’s so important that people can trust the media. If folks don’t believe that the facts gathered and reported by newspapers and other outlets are true, they’re unlikely to ever compromise, let alone agree with their fellow citizens. This system of generating commonly accepted truths has, however, broken down. 

    Call it the post-truth era. That’s shorthand for today’s chaotic media environment, where truths are manipulated and misinformation has become a growth business. So what went wrong and how did we end up here?

    The term “post-truth” goes back to an essay published in the early 1990s by the playwright Steve Tesich. He wrote the essay in response to the revelation that the US government had been illegally selling arms to Iran to fund an anti-government guerilla group in Nicaragua known as the Contras. 

    This was something President Ronald Reagan had strenuously denied. Remarkably, Reagan’s supporters continued to defend him even after the truth came out. Why was that? Well, emotions had trumped facts. Reagan stated that his heart had told him the accusations were false, and this was good enough for many Americans. 

    Others, meanwhile, lost all faith in government. It was the first sign that citizens no longer agreed on basic empirical truths, and as citizens began searching for “alternative facts” that fit their personal narratives, trust in the mainstream media plummeted too. According to Gallup survey data, 72 percent of Americans trusted the media in 1976; by 2016, that number had fallen to just 32 percent. 

    This trend was amplified by the arrival of the internet. As a 2018 Rand Corporation report points out, so-called “truth decay” now affects countries around the world. From the US to Germany, Turkey and India, members of the same societies increasingly believe in radically-opposed accounts of reality. 

    This is largely because posts on social media, unlike real journalism, are easy and cheap to produce and are rarely – if ever – fact-checked. The results have been a torrent of fake accounts pushing partisan, divisive propaganda disguised as news items, which we've come to know as “fake news.” In 2018 alone, Facebook identified and disabled 520 million fake accounts in just three months!

    Add all these factors together and you’re left with extremely fragile societies. As we’ll see in the next blink, this isn’t just a political story – it also affects economic life. 

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    What is The Post-Truth Business about?

    The Post-Truth Business (2018) addresses a question that’s been keeping marketing and advertising agencies up at night for a while now: How do you persuade consumers to trust your brand in an increasingly distrustful world? Drawing on Sean Pillot de Chenecey’s first-hand knowledge of the industry known as “adland,” these blinks show how today’s most innovative companies are strengthening consumer engagement and making sure that their brand doesn’t end up with a credibility gap.

    Best quote from The Post-Truth Business

    Without trust, and without an understanding of how it is built, managed, lost and repaired, a society cannot thrive. – Rachel Botsman

    —Sean Pillot de Chenecey
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    Who should read The Post-Truth Business?

    • Marketers, advertisers and brand managers
    • Leaders worried about their company’s image 
    • Business strategists interested in the latest trends

    About the Author

    Sean Pillot de Chenecey is a marketing expert with over 20 years of experience in the advertising industry. His previous clients include global giants Unilever, Swatch, Heineken, General Motors, AXA, Vodafone, Comptoir des Cotonnier and Visa. He is a public speaker and a regular contributor to specialist publications like Admap, Brand Strategy, Contagious, Dazed and Marketing.


    © Sean Pillot de Chenecey, 2018. This Summary of The Post-Truth Business is published by arrangement with Kogan Page.

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