Consumers, Brands & Media Relations: Our Favourite Communications Stories of the Week

Is there a shift in consumer habits and what does the declining number of journalists mean for people in PR? Do you know what brands are most trusted by Canadians? Some may surprise you. We invite you to take a break and catch up on some news in the communications and PR world from this past week.


A shift in consumer habits could add extra pressure to the restaurant industry according to a new NPD report. In the report titled, “2020 Vision: The Future of QSR,” NPD says that popular chains such as Tim Hortons and McDonald’s are fighting to stay relevant in a market that is swiftly changing. Since customer demands are evolving, more people are looking for restaurants that offer take-out and drive-thru options.

The traffic forecast for Canada’s fast-food restaurants is set to increase by less than 1% annually over the next 5 years. The food services industry has seen a general decline in customer transactions in recent years and in order for the industry to grow, it would depend on the growth of the Canadian population

Lukewarm Growth Expected For Fast Food Chains in Canada” (Marketing Magazine)

Media Relations:

The Pew Research Center recently revealed that the number of current working journalists in America is the lowest it has been since at least the late 1970s. The same effect has been felt in Canada. What does this mean for PR professionals? Mickie Kennedy, CEO and founder of eReleases and blogs at PR Fuel, outlines what this means for PR practioners below:

  • It’s important to keep your media list updated. Since journalists frequently change publications or the areas they cover, regularly keeping a media list accurate and up-to-date is key.
  • Reporters are covering more areas than before. Today’s reporter is forced to cover more than one industry, so it’s a good idea to make sure and research the industries they cover.
  • Reporters are busier than ever before. Because reporters are wearing more hats and the same volume of work is divided amongst fewer of them, you can assume they are extremely busy. Therefore, pitches to journalists need to be short and to the point.

What a declining number of journalists means for PR pros” (PR Daily)


Which brands do most Canadians trust? In its annual Trusted Brands list for 2015, Reader’s Digest surveyed more than 4,000 Canadians asking open-ended questions about who consumers trust most across 40 product categories. We’ve highlighted some of their findings below.

  • Topping the list, Toyota was named twice – first as the most trusted car manufacturer and the most trusted hybrid car manufacturer.
  • Sun Life Financial received the title of most trusted life insurance company.
  • Air Canada was chosen as the most trusted airliner, while TD was named most trusted bank.
  • Tim Hortons is the most trusted coffee house brand and McDonald’s is the most trusted QSR.
  • In regards to most trusted profession, firefighters and ambulance drivers are at the top of the list (77% and 74%, respectively),
  • Politicians, car salespeople and telemarketers ranked last.

A full list of the most trusted brands can be found in the attached article.

Which brands do Canadians trust?” (Strategy Magazine)

Thought of the week:

“The only thing that stands between you and your dream is the will to try and the belief that it is actually possible.” – Joel Brown


Image via zenworkz.com

Andrea Mancini About the author
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