The Edelman Trust Barometer is one of the most important tool to detect key trends for public relations and communications in general.
Just released, the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer revealed that trust is in crisis. The general population’s trust in four key institutions – business, government, NGOs, and media – has declined considerably, a phenomenon not reported in the segment since Edelman began tracking it in 2012.
Concluding the fall of trust, the Trust Barometer found that 53 percent of respondents believe the current overall system has failed them – it is unfair and offers little hope for the future.
“With the fall of trust, the majority of respondents now lack full belief that the overall system is working for them. In this climate, people’s societal and economic concerns, including globalization, the pace of innovation and eroding social values, turn into fears, spurring the rise of populist actions now playing out in several Western-style democracies.”
Of the four institutions under scrutiny by the Edelman study, business is viewed by respondents as the only one that can make a difference. Three out of four respondents agree a company can take actions to both increase profits and improve economic and social conditions in the community where it operates. Its leaders must step up on the issues that matter for society.
So it’s not all hopeless – as Edelman offers a hopeful suggestion:
“to rebuild trust and restore faith in the system, institutions must break their traditional cycles and work toward a new, more integrated operating model that puts people at the center of everything they do.”
Here’s a breakdown of 10 main insights into the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer:
Key to rebuilding trust is obviously corporate communications, including its individual disciplines targeting customers, employees, media, investors and all other stakeholders. Given the huge impact that the decline in trust is having on communications efforts in many industries and professions – take an hour of your to read through the full study and its implications here!