Thursday, May 10, 2012

Looking for Beacons of Trust

According to Edelman’s latest Trust Barometer study, over the past year, belief in the credibility of CEOs’ pronouncements has plummeted. Only 38% of respondents trust business leaders to tell them the truth…a huge 12 point drop over the course of just one year.

Trust is essential to a company’s bottom line. And you can’t just create trust; it has to be earned, one encounter at a time. Not surprisingly, therefore, the credibility of “a person like me” (cited by 65% of respondents) and “regular employees” (50%) is on the rise.

Every time a stakeholder has a good experience, it’s like a deposit in the “trust bank.” Every misstep is like a withdrawal. Rebuilding trust – a skillset that defines public relations – will increase the demand for our services in the coming years.

For the first time, the powerful and venerable investment bank, Goldman Sachs, provided more proof of the value of reputation in its form 10-K annual report when it added “adverse publicity” to the list of financial risks it faced in the years ahead.

As we all know, what’s inside is outside today. Everything that has anything to do with a company is a wide open book…everywhere in the world where there’s an internet connection. The Chubb Group of Insurance Companies now has public relations professionals on its list of approved vendors they recommend to clients in crisis situations – further proof of the importance of PR. That’s because increased exposure comes with greater liability, if you don’t actively monitor and manage it.

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