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Isentia - What do people think about your organisation?

Research First - When obsession knows no boundaries

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What do people think about your organisation?

Reputation Analysis helps you understand what people think and feel about your organisation. In this report, we discuss the key aspects surrounding the Reputation Analysis metrics including: The role of perception; How to leverage reputation to build opportunity; Managing your reputation; Examples of reputation management during crisis.

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Research First

When obsession knows no boundaries

‘Megxit - it’s the headline that’s gripped the world, consuming every tabloid, social media channel and prime-time television viewing as Harry and Meghan ‘step down as senior Royals’. And it seems despite much more serious world issues, it’s a story that won’t age-out any time soon.

As one of the only remaining monarchies in the western world, and arguably the most influential, the global fascination may not come as a surprise – especially given the tell all African interview and Harry’s continual vilification of the British, and now Canadian, media.

However, in a world where there are far more serious, and time-precious issues, one must ask exactly why the decision of a couple to relocate across the Atlantic to stand on their own two feet is an issue that requires such a vast amount of media coverage and such dedication of public interest. The anger, sadness and vitriol from citizens of the Commonwealth is, on the surface, quite irrational. After all, as one brazen journalist pointed out, Harry isn’t even next in line to the throne.

We are, in a word, obsessed with securing the fairy tale ending for ‘our boys’.

In one particularly telling Facebook comment, a member of the public suggested that only Meghan should be divorced from the Royal family given Harry didn’t ‘belong to her’, but rather to the British public because they had ‘raised him’, ‘watched over him’, and ‘loved him’. In this day and age, to blame anyone for the decision to lead their own life away from the pressures that accompany being a part of The Firm seems ludicrous. Which begs the question, why on earth do we care?

Well if you ask New Zealand royalists, the answer is relatively straight forward - the Royals represent the head of our state, and therefore form part of our identity. Many psychologists, however, put the obsession with the younger members of the Royal family, in particular, down to the fact that we never really got over the death of Princess Diana. Loved and revered by most of the world, the legacy Princess Diana left after her untimely death has resulted in the public’s deep infatuation with her children and a wide-spread belief that both Harry and William were the sons of the British public (and by extension that of the Commonwealth countries) to raise in the same way a parent watches over their birth children.

But it is not just the extended Royal family we seem to have an obsession with. This phenomenon extends to others with heightened celebrity status also. Our obsession with celebrities is evident in many aspects of our life - from what we wear, to what we buy, even to what we cook for heaven’s sake.

It’s such a common phenomenon that psychologists have multiple explanations for it. The most common is the idea that we love celebrities because they form an integral part of our culture, and therefore are entrenched in our identity. Consequently, we worship them, feeling as though we are participating in a massively significant cause/belief system.

This is evidenced particularly well through Instagram. The reliance brands have on celebrities to sell products through Instagram sponsoring is hugely relevant to the way we revere celebrities. Posts from Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, and now Meghan Markle, have a disproportionate influence on the makeup we buy, the way we decorate our houses, what we wear etc. etc. The ‘High Street’ effect has been alive and well for some time now, but it notched up a whole new gear when Kate and Meghan came on the scene – and when baby Archie recently wore a hat from a New Zealand store it sold-out within minutes – of course it did.

Celebrity culture is just a part of who we are. There’s no escaping it. But there is a responsibility around how we engage with it and the extent to which we leverage it as professionals. Studies in the United Kingdom suggest that poor mental health is correlated with celebrity worship, particularly depression and anxiety. Something to think about as we develop campaigns and engagement strategies in 2020.

And as for Harry and Meghan – how their story ends up is largely up to us and our ability to let our boy grow up and leave the nest.

Research First – making the complex simple.


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