And That’s the Way It Is: Lessons in Building Authority from Walter Cronkite

walter cronkite“And that’s the way it is” was the famous show-ending line uttered by trusted news broadcaster Walter Cronkite, the man who provided Americans with the latest updates from around the country for nearly 20 years. During his career, Walter Cronkite became a household name and was regarded as the definitive voice in news. “If Walter Cronkite said it, it must be true!” was the common sentiment of most Americans who watched television between 1962 and 1981.

It pays to wonder how an average news reporter gained the trust of so many people who were otherwise divided on important national issues. Let’s explore Walter Cronkite’s lessons for content marketers on building authority.

  • Honesty is the best policy. In addition to his penchant for offering Americans fact-based news, Walter Cronkite was known for being candid about his beliefs and opinions. It was this unabashed honesty that helped Americans view him as an individual and not simply the face of a news corporation. Content marketers benefit from using their content to be candid with readers about their brand. Readers like no-frills information that gets to the point. Candid content can help establish your brand’s authority within your industry.

  • Be helpful to your audience. Walter Cronkite was astutely aware that he held the trust of the nation within his hands. As a reporter who was truly invested in delivering quality information to his audience, Walter Cronkite helped provide Americans with the latest news and encouraged his audience to come to their own conclusion. Your audience has problems, some of which your brand can help solve. How can content help improve the lives of your readers?

  • Have a reputation for reliability. Walter Cronkite was not simply reading a teleprompter on the evening news. His focus was providing Americans with a reliable source for the latest updates on society. It’s important for your readers to view your content as a reliable source of information. Providing reliable information establishes your brand as an authority in your industry and will keep your readers coming back.

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, Walter Cronkite was just another person like you and me. Since his death in 2009, his life, like many other notable individuals, has come under scrutiny of others. Despite his alleged transgressions, Walter Cronkite remains a strong figure in the history of American news reporting who led the country through tragic events such as the death of JFK and the rise and fall of the Vietnam War. His knack for offering candid, helpful, and reliable information to Americans cannot be denied, and his legacy remains alive and well in the hearts of those who remember him.

What do you remember about Walter Cronkite? How can your content benefit from these tips?

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Victoria Schleicher is a graduate of the University of South Florida and holds a BA in Psychology. Although Victoria was successful in the mental health field, she chose to instead pursue her passion for writing and art, and is happy to be a part of the Content Equals Money team. When not writing, Victoria likes to create art, play with her cat, read, and go running.

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