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Politics, privacy and morality to dominate 2014

Politics, privacy and morality are the themes that will shape 2014, according to communications firm SenateSHJ’s Top 10 issues for 2014 (below).

“The general election will bring out the best and worst in our politicians, and we expect a very confusing political battle, particularly among the minor parties,” Chief Executive Neil Green says.

“The election will also focus attention on the so-called economy versus environment debate, which to date has been largely an immature discussion with more emotion than fact.”

Mr Green says privacy concerns will continue to increase with ongoing revelations about the extent of global surveillance by spy agencies, and the rise of Big Data – information gathering and analysis by the world’s largest and most sophisticated technology firms.

“Most citizens willingly trade some privacy to enjoy the benefits of better products and services, but perhaps more personal information is being gathered and used than people thought they agreed to.”

The third big trend in 2014 will be issues related to morality as highlighted in last year’s Roast Busters scandal. Questions of morality also feature strongly in issues such as income disparity, housing affordability, health and underage drinking.

“Roast Busters raised some uncomfortable questions about morals and values, attitudes to women, and the accountability and role of authorities in protecting people.

“While we expect politics, privacy and morality to shape 2014, we also expect this to occur against a continued background of increased advocacy and citizen journalism,” says Mr Green.

“This is where social media will come into its own and continue to challenge traditional structures of authority – governments, corporations and religious institutions.

“While we already can see the impact of social media influencing traditional media coverage, the proliferation of ‘publishers’ means only the genuinely good content will cut through,” says Mr Green.

For people leading the communications for any organisation, the fundamentals remain largely the same:

• Tell the truth in plain English.

• Stop dumbing things down – trust people with complexity.

• Hear what people say – talk to stakeholders and listen to what they tell you.

• Stop demonising and find common ground.

SenateSHJ Top 10 predictions for 2014
Click here for the full report


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