Home » OPINION » Columns » TODD SMITH'S SPIN CYCLE — Brian Williams’ trust ratings drop faster than anyones since Tiger Woods

TODD SMITH'S SPIN CYCLE — Brian Williams’ trust ratings drop faster than anyones since Tiger Woods

Todd Smith

Todd Smith

It’s hardly a secret that Brian Williams and NBC are in trouble – more than 46 percent of voters in The Marketing Arm joint TVNewser poll last week said, “his career is over.”

Now, headlines in The New York Times and PR Week note that Williams had lost his “lofty spot on a trustworthiness scale.”

A curious fact: the name atop the newly updated “Celebrity DBI” list is none other than Tom Hanks.

Some other interesting findings:

» Williams went from No. 23 to No. 835 on the list of most trusted Americans

» He had been the list’s top newsman; that spot is now occupied by Robin Roberts

» On the influencer scale, Williams went from No. 57 to No. 397, tied with Giselle Bundchen and former Colts coach Tony Dungy

» In terms of general appeal, Williams fell more than 1,200 spots; his current contemporaries are Dave Matthews and David Beckham

As The Marketing Arm’s managing director Robert Familetti said, “We haven’t seen a drop like this since Tiger Woods.” Williams is currently about as trustworthy as the old guy on Duck Dynasty.

The public holds media personalities to a higher Standard

The relationship that the public has with newscasters is not the same as the one it has with celebrities like Hanks, because trust is what they build their reputation on.

Tiger Woods set a very negative precedent in the world of Celebrity DBI – one that The Marketing Arm execs were hoping not to see again for a long time. The act of saying something false on-air made the betrayal of trust more significant in Williams’ case, especially because he was arguably considered the most trusted in the media world.

This brings up a harrowing contemplation of public opinion. According to The Marketing Arm, these are the 10 most trusted public names in America:

1. Tom Hanks

2. Kate Middleton

3. Dr. Lisa Masterson

4. Morgan Freeman

5. Chelsey Sullenberger

6. Betty White

7. Norm Abram

8. Mike Holmes

9. Bill Gates

10. Dr. Oz

The Spin Cycle thinks this is a sad state of affairs indeed.

20 most popular brands on Twitter

@YouTube maintains its position as the most popular brand on Twitter, with its more than 48 million followers placing it well ahead of all other brands, including the official @Twitter profile.

Indeed, @Twitter isn’t even second on its own network – that space has long been reserved for @Instagram, although both remain many millions behind @YouTube.

There’s also quite a divide between Twitter’s top three and fourth-placed @cnnbrk.

This month, @espn moves up another place to 5th, while @SportsCenter and @FCBarcelona both leap-frog @Facebook, which falls out of the top ten.

1. YouTube (@YouTube, 48.65 million followers)

2. Instagram (@instagram, 37.37 million followers)

3. Twitter (@twitter, 35.1 million)

4. CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk, 23.7 million)

5. ESPN (@espn, 15.9 million)

6. CNN (@cnn, 15.8 million)

7. The New York Times (@nytimes, 15.2 million)

8. Real Madrid F.C. (@realmadrid, 14.7 million)

9. Twitter en español (@twitter_es, 14.1 million)

10. FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona, 14.05 million)

11. SportsCenter (@SportsCenter, 14 million)

12. Facebook (@Facebook, 13.9 million)

13. BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking, 13.4 million)

14. NBA (@NBA, 12.9 million)

15. Vine (@vineapp, 12.8 million)

16. UberSocial (@UberSoc, 12.1 million)

17. MTV (@MTV, 11.9 million)

18. Samsung Mobile (@SamsungMobile, 10.5 million)

19. A Googler (@google, 10.1 million)

20. Ramalan Indonesia (@TweetRAMALAN, 9.8 million)

Twitter reaches deal to show tweets in Google search results

Twitter Inc. has struck a deal with Google Inc. to make its 140-character updates more searchable online.

In the first half of this year, tweets will start to be visible in Google’s search results as soon as they’re posted, thanks to a deal giving the web company access to Twitter’s feed, the stream of data generated by the microblogging service’s 284 million users, according to Bloomberg Business.

Google previously had to crawl Twitter’s site for the information, which will now be visible automatically.

The agreement underscores the progress that Twitter Chief Executive Officer Dick Costolo is making in getting tweets seen by more non-users and generating more advertising revenue from a larger audience. Twitter, which also provides data to Microsoft Corp.’s Bing search service and Yahoo! Inc. is aiming to draw more people to its site as user growth slows.

Engineers from Twitter and Google are already working on the arrangement. The two companies had a similar deal from 2009 to 2011.

There’s no advertising revenue involved in the deal between Twitter and Google, according to Bloomberg Business. That suggests Twitter will receive data-licensing revenue, which was $41 million in the third quarter, up from $16 million a year earlier.

Golden Mic | Arnaud de Borchgrave, former ‘Washington Times’ editor, UPImMan

Arnaud de Borchgrave, 88, the Spin Cycle’s former editor in chief at The Washington Times, and a celebrated foreign correspondent who covered 17 wars and became the confidant of dozens of world leaders, died last Sunday after a lengthy battle with cancer.

De Borchgrave was editor in chief of The Times from 1985 until he retired in 1991. He had earlier been the chief foreign correspondent for Newsweek magazine for 25 years. He presided over The Times during a period of great growth, both in circulation and in influence at the White House and on Capitol Hill, far beyond its circulation numbers. De Borchgrave – and The Times – gave voice to conservatives in the media capital of the world, a howling wolf in the journalistic wilderness. Under his astute and visionary leadership, The Times became the first paper President Ronald Reagan read each morning to inform him of the world.

De Borchgrave was president and chief executive officer of United Press International after he retired from The Times, and was editor at large for both publications at the time of his death. For giving a new – and trusted – voice to media coverage, my old editor takes the Golden Mic!

Each week, The Spin Cycle will bestow a Golden Mic Award to the person, group or company in the court of public opinion that best exemplifies the tenets of solid PR, marketing and advertising – and those who don’t. Stay tuned – and step-up to the mic! And remember … Amplify Your Brand!

» Todd Smith is president and chief communications officer of Deane, Smith & Partners, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm — based in Nashville, Tenn. — is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, and follow him @spinsurgeon.

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About Ross Reily

Ross Reily is editor of the Mississippi Business Journal. He is a husband to an amazing wife, dad to 3 crazy kids and 2 dogs. He is also a fan of the Delta State Fighting Okra and the Boston Red Sox.

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