Thursday, January 27, 2011

What Can We Learn From The Latest Edelman Trust Barometer?

There’s bad news and good news in this week’s 2011 Edelman Trust Barometer, reported by Richard Edelman.

Among the most unpleasant findings, Edelman says, in the 23 countries surveyed, the United States has moved into what he calls the “Distrusters” group among businesses. In fact, the Survey found business, for the most part, is “as or more” trusted than government in 19 of the 23 nations studied, with the exception of U.S. business and business in Russia and the United Kingdom.

And in the "Truster" category for government, the largest drop in trust in governments was reported in the United States and Germany. Trust in the media was also measured in the 23-countries and Richard Edelman wrote “the most depressing findings for media” was in the U.S. where only 27% of the public trusted the American media.

When it comes to trust in industries, banking and financial services are the least trusted industries of 16 reviewed each year by Edelman. Banking reputations plunged in the U.S. by nearly 50% in the past three years to a low of 25%.

The annual Edelman Survey found there are four major factors that determine corporate reputation. They include “high quality products and services,” being a “company I can trust,” being a company that “treats employees well,” and one that has “transparent business practices.”

One other area covered in the annual survey rated “credible” spokespersons for companies.

The reputation of American CEO’s was up in 2010, higher than it has been in nine years, but still only about one-third think an American CEO is believable.

Respondents were asked who they were most likely to believe as spokesperson for an organization and they rated Academic experts number one, company technical experts next, then financial analysts and Chief Executive Officers fourth.

Edelman‘s findings had one confusing and contradictory report – in a crisis, the “number one trusted source is the CEO, followed by an Outside Expert, followed by a Technical Expert from the company.” Go figure!

One of the most encouraging findings supports our strong belief that “banked good will” is invaluable to any organization facing trouble. The Edelman report concluded that an organization going into a crisis with a reputation of distrust only needs a couple of negative news stories to convince the public you’re no good.

The same study found that if you approach a crisis with a reputation of being a “trusted” company, it only takes a couple of positive stories to turn the tide in your favor.

Our conclusion continues to stress the importance of doing the right things for the right reasons, and treating your employees, partners, vendors, share-holders and customers the way you would want to be treated. Those are all ways to create and “bank” goodwill and goodwill can be a company life-saver when something goes wrong you could not prevent.

No comments:

Post a Comment