Opinion & audience — Long live the enlightened citizen!
Media, journalists and influencers are among leaders of opinion, so they are the coveted targets of any company or organisation seeking to develop its influence. A very small number of individuals exert a very strong impact on the masses…
But just what are the masses?
These individuals are not front-line influencers, but don’t they all also count in opinion forming? Aren’t they targets to be taken into account by companies, institutions and organisations? Don’t they have their own expectations to formulate, their points of view to express?
Yes, of course they do, and indeed the development of participatory platforms and petition platforms as well as queries asked through search engines illustrate to what extent all individuals participate in genuine opinion-forming, individually and collectively.
Can the company directly address a large target group of individuals?
Can it complement the natural action it has with key opinion leaders? Can it extend the actions it naturally takes with key opinion leaders? It not only can, it really must. It must find keys to express the battles it is fighting, it must illustrate how its purpose has a positive impact on society. It must also open up new perspectives and demonstrate how it sees the world of today and tomorrow.
Who is expecting that? Who’s listening and who’s wondering? Who is assessing and who has opinions? And who supports, consumes or rejects?
The mass of citizens.
Can this audience be targeted more accurately?
Among all these citizens, there is one who is especially interested. Especially interested in the world’s major concerns in favour of the environment, health, education, technology, energy, beauty and food. So interested that he or she is seeking to understand what’s happening today and how it will work tomorrow.
An interested citizen with aspirations and a positive outlook, the so-called enlightened citizen crosses sources, seeks information and participates by expressing his or her opinion.
Enlightened citizens have come to understand that business has a major role to play in the economy, value creation and life. It is with this perspective that they question corporate strategies, political decisions and organizational orientations.
With this positive outlook, a real bond is created between them and the company. Above all, it is an area of common ground that bridges the gap between the interests and aspirations of enlightened citizens and businesses. This ground cannot remain unoccupied, and it cannot be entrusted only to third party key opinion leaders.
In all legitimacy, companies must nurture, manage and control it, so maintaining an active link with the individuals who are stakeholders in their ecosystem. This will enable companies to become opinion leaders on their own issues, to retain control of messages and not to stay on the sidelines of discussions that are crucial to their development. Enlightened citizens will become a sort of ally, positive informers on issues of importance to the company.
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