Out of Scope Issue 110: A Deep Dive into the Crisis of Confidence
Plus: AI Advances, Digital Overload, and the Fate of Yeezys
A crisis of confidence seems to be permeating many of our institutions, and it's not just limited to the usual suspects like the Fed or Silicon Valley. Hirsch Leatherwood dives deep into the issue and examines its impact on local banks and the White House. Meanwhile, AI continues to evolve rapidly, with new developments shaking up industries left and right. On another note, Adidas' recent split with Ye leaves us with one burning question: what will become of Yeezy products? Read on:
💡ON OUR MINDS: Comms in a Confidence Crisis
What do Fed Chair Jerome Powell, the UK’s National Health Service, Joe Biden’s economic policy, and the Bank of England have in common this week? Public confidence at “all time lows.”
The collapse of First Republic Bank has been contained relatively well so far, but everyday people—the folks who store cash in banks instead of buying call options on them—are concerned, especially about smaller regional banks. Consider this headline from a Bloomberg newsletter this week: “What Happens if My Bank Fails?” Yikes.
A crisis of confidence is running through our political, economic, and cultural institutions. Pew Research has been charting trust in government, in particular, since 1958—with confidence declining more or less steadily since the second Bush administration.
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times: once you lose your stakeholders’ trust, it’s hard to get it back. This week’s example: Elizabeth Holmes’s cringeworthy redemption campaign. The convicted Theranos founder is trying to rebrand herself as “Liz,” a devoted mother. But when you become the face of Silicon Valley grift, a New York Times profile isn’t enough to change your image and rebuild trust.
The only way to build back trust is through steady and honest communication. One profile or strong headline won’t restore it—it’s about consistent outreach that demonstrates a commitment to stakeholders.
📡 ON OUR RADAR
As A.I. continues its march across industries, it's no surprise that AI-generated content is shaking things up. But what about the human effort behind the tech? Despite playing a critical role in developing the groundbreaking GPT-3 language model, OpenAI's human contractors were paid a mere $15 per hour. As A.I. becomes more pervasive, the question remains: what does the future hold for human labor? Two things can both be true: AI can enhance human skills and productivity and lead to automation and job loss. Interested in how AI may affect your career? Type in your job here to find out.
But beyond individual careers, the looming 2024 election cycle presents a unique challenge for political and crisis communications on both sides of the aisle. With funds, attention, and votes up for grabs, it's bound to be a wild ride in U.S. politics.
In internal communications news, employees are increasingly expressing their values as we emerge further from the pandemic. According to a Microsoft study, digital overload is taking its toll as employees spend two full days a week between emails and meetings. As leaders look to free up time for more creativity and productivity, Fortune reports employee recognition should be another top priority. Workers care more about being in the right job—one that recognizes their contributions and matches their interests—than having a perfect salary. That's not to say compensation doesn't matter, but attracting and keeping talent has more to do with dollar amounts. It's about communicating to your employees that you recognize their contributions and fit them appropriately in your workplace.
In case you missed these stories.
NYT struck a deal with Google: The search engine giant will pay the newspaper around $100m for its content as part of a "new news experience."
Major brands offer customers opt-out options for Mother's Day marketing emails for those who may find the holiday difficult for personal reasons.
Adidas seeks to sell unsold Yeezy inventory and donate proceeds to organizations impacted by Kanye West's comments.
Thanks for reading,
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