The Mediapulse television panel - or trust is a question of willpower

A statement by Nico Gurtner, Head of Communications at Mediapulse, on the article "Six answers to open IGEM questions about the TV panel" by Markus Knöpfli from the current Werbewoche 11/2015. The article can also be viewed by non-subscribers.


The article "Six answers to open IGEM questions about the TV panel". got me thinking. Not because it contains errors - it is mostly factually correct. From Mediapulse's perspective, it would certainly have been possible to create understanding on many points with a few explanations. Obviously, however, we did not succeed in doing so on the occasion to which the article refers. The main point is also not that IGEM has made parts of a confidential audit report public with its list of questions.

What gets me thinking is the discrepancy in the perception of Mediapulse's work. After a difficult start, we, Mediapulse, perceive a well-positioned panel that reflects reality better than before and provides more comprehensive data than we know from all other media genres. Without wanting to be self-praising, the panel is a solid and trustworthy measurement of Swiss television consumption. From the outside, however, a cold wind is still blowing: Many doubts from 2013 persist. It is also no coincidence that the IGEM questions are based on an old 2013 report.

It is - as so often - a question of perspective. 90 to 95 percent of the panel is running perfectly today, there is potential for improvement in the remaining area. From a corporate communications perspective, of course, I see mainly the positive part. Some users, due to the loss of trust in 2013, are still focusing on the part that is not yet running perfectly. The report of the Media Science Commission (MWK) does not help in any way to close this gap. It is a critical quality report in the sense of the continuous improvement process; that is, it deals with the positive in a few words and focuses in detail on the potential for development. Everyone knows from their own company that auditors and auditees do not always agree.

If we want to get out of this trench warfare, we need a change of perspective. While Mediapulse (by necessity) takes a very critical look at its own work, we sometimes miss the courage to show goodwill on the other side; the courage to simply assume that Mediapulse is working correctly. Why don't you try to test both hypotheses equally rigorously: What speaks for a mistake at Mediapulse? What speaks against it? We would be happy to help you list the numerous quality controls and test steps that the data have to go through before they reach you! Or give you a picture of the many processes that run smoothly.

However, transparency alone is not enough. In Germany, people have long been rubbing their eyes at all the things we disclose here. It also takes the will to trust. Or as it is taught in elementary psychology school: The biggest obstacle to building trust is that people habitually approach new things with mistrust. It would be time to overcome this mode soon. In the old panel, we were confronted with greater challenges. However, hardly anyone asked any questions about them.

Nico Gurtner
Communication Manager


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