Trust is the new attention
For the last 18 years, Edelman, the big PR firm, has done a world-wide survey of how much people trust government, media, nonprofits and business. In 2017, the headline from their Trust Barometer was “Trust has Imploded!” Their report last year showed that, due in large part to the election, trust had basically collapsed, creating real problems for your organization and for democracy.
I went to an event this week where Richard Edelman revealed the 2018 Trust Barometer. You won’t be surprised to learn that there has been no recovery of trust. And it also won’t surprise you that the cries of fake news, of partisan press and of reports of Russian bots and trolls has made media the least trusted institution for the first time in the survey’s history.
The other interesting take-away has been a rise in the trust of experts. We are, finally, coming back to appreciate experts -- people who have studied and put in the hard work to know what they’re talking about.
For your organizations, this means we aren’t returning to traditional marketing content. We still need social proof and peer support, but we also need to bring those behind-the-scenes experts into the forefront. We need to turn our wonks and our scientists into stars. We need them -- often on video -- telling people things they can believe.
Richard Edelman says, “Silence is a tax on the truth,” and is encouraging business leaders to step up. The same is true with you and your organizations.