Written by Melissa Orozco

It was Gustave Flaubert who wrote, “there is no truth, only perception.” When I first heard this quote, the sentiment rang true to me…perhaps it’s my perception.

In the media, trust is paramount, and right now there is a dearth of it. For better or worse, the media landscape is unrecognizable from what it was a decade ago – faster and more diverse yet less regulated than ever before. We receive news in real-time story bites. “Fake news” and PR spin continue to weaken the credibility of what people see in the media today.

At the same time, the issues facing humanity – socially and environmentally – are becoming ever more pressing. Extreme weather events and rising sea levels demonstrate that climate change is no longer a looming global threat, but one that’s very much upon us. One in seven people around the world are hungry, yet one-third of food is wasted. Seventy percent of the world’s population hold only three percent of the global wealth.

The magnitude of global issues, especially when combined with the general public’s growing distrust of media, can make it daunting to see how we as communicators can make a difference.

As a social impact PR agency, all of us at Yulu believe we have a role (and responsibility) to play in delivering facts and authentic stories to the media. In other words, we live and die by our “no spin” policy. We sincerely believe big change begins with small steps. If we want to see trust regained in society and media, authentic and honest communications must become the norm. So we’re working with a community of other equally passionate communications professionals to set new industry standards, which hold communicators accountable for the stories they amplify.

This is why we are proud to be launching Impact Relations, with our first edition of our newsletter, The Agenda, circulating this week. Impact Relations is the discipline of sharing powerful stories that will inspire a positive social or environmental impact. No spin. No fluff. Just authentic and transparent communication that can influence positive, systemic social and environmental change.

We’re building this community globally, from Vancouver to London to Singapore to New York, and it is a place for communicators to learn how to develop and execute impactful campaigns, and most importantly, how to measure the impact beyond media metrics.

This initiative is timely, not just because of the breadth of challenges ahead we face, but because we’re in the midst of a great shift in power. Businesses have more economic equity than ever. Transparency movements like the Solutions Journalism Network and the Google Transparency Project are growing. And the communications industry is evolving alongside these movements with initiatives such as Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication, and now the birth and growth of Impact Relations.

We are collectively exploring ways to help businesses be better, perform better, and communicate better to benefit the world and people around us. Together, we can make a significant change through the stories we share. We invite communicators from around the globe to join our community here.