MediaScan is our flagship journalist sentiment survey, conducted biannually.

We use it to track attitudes towards some of the largest asset managers in the world to smaller boutique players, and measure the impact of their PR strategies, as well as finding out invaluable insights into the future of an industry constantly needed to adapt to new and complex challenges. MediaScan canvasses the opinions of the top editors, columnists and reporters across the UK and Pan European investment media.
As well as its core analytical component of rating asset managers standings within the industry, MediaScan looks to explain the factors influencing these views, while also identifying future trends likely to shape the industry. In the latest wave of the research, three major themes emerged when the panel was asked about what they saw as the key issues affecting the asset management industry over the coming 6-12 months:

ESG, climate change and greenwashing
The theme journalists discussed most was that of ESG, notably on upcoming regulatory changes, tackling the impact of climate change and how greenwashing should be addressed. With nearly three-fifths (57%) of journalists surveyed bringing this topic up, it is clearly a massive issue for the media – but how will asset managers get their messages across?

Inflation is an inescapable concern at present, whether talking in billions or pennies. The success (or failure) of governments to harness burgeoning inflation will have a considerable impact on the long-term investment appeal of many markets and products, as well as dictating if, or when, the next recession hits – and how long it lasts.

How to invest in a recessionary environment
More broadly, the myriad macroeconomic pressures currently affecting markets were viewed as significant issues – mentioned by 43% of respondents – notably the ongoing impact of the war in Ukraine at both investment and consumer level, as well as how businesses adapt to the ‘new normal’ of business post-Covid, including retention of top staff and clients and the longer-term effect this will have.

While any asset manager would be able to discuss these three issues at length, communicating these views in line with the company’s core PR messaging in a way that is accessible, authentic and attractive to a journalist is the key challenge facing many firms in an increasingly competitive environment.

The onus is on asset managers to provide the expertise, data and outlook that resonates with the different audiences or distribution channels the trade and national media cater for, while also bringing their brand’s purpose to life. By working closely with both clients and the media, CDR is strongly positioned to advise on how best to position these views to ensure that both journalist and client benefit from the relationship.

By Chris Jarvis, Head of CDR London’s Research & Insights Team