Vertrouwen in bedrijven is zoek, zo blijkt uit Trust Barometer

20/03/2020

There is a lack of trust in businesses, according to the Trust Barometer

Media relations Reputation management

Trust in many organisations, including businesses, authorities and NGOs, is lacking. This is what came out of the annual Trust Barometer published by PR company Edelman in January, based on an online survey among over 33,000 respondents from 26 countries. The media don’t escape this growing wave of mistrust either. But the good news is that you can still use well thought-out communication to build a strong company reputation.

The Trust Barometer has provided a clear signal this year; there is little trust in businesses. The revelation is closely related to the sombre economic forecasts. And the survey was conducted prior to the corona crisis. Almost 60% of respondents were pessimistic about the future. And 83% stated that they were worried about losing their jobs. The main factors in this uncertainty are the gig-economy (the tendency of businesses to use short-term contracts with independent workers to complete temporary projects), the lingering recession, and a lack of training or skills for the job.

Building trust via communication

Can you still build trust as a company nowadays? Of course you can! Furthermore, building a strong reputation is crucial to gaining the trust of shareholders, investors, customers and (last but not least) your own employees. But it may take a little time. 

The Trust Barometer has shown that people are keen to feel a greater sense of trust; 92% of respondents thought that their CEO should talk about issues that are affecting the world. This could include the ethical use of technology, the impact of digitalisation on our work, diversity, income inequality, immigration, and so on. 74% said that CEOs should take the reins themselves in order to implement change, instead of waiting for governments to take action. Agenda setting, or bringing social topics to the forefront, is becoming increasingly important. 

Nowadays, this also relates to communicating (and continuing to do so) in a credible way. Even in times of crisis. By constantly offering relevant information to the various stakeholders, you are involving them in the story. Telling a relevant story proactively will combat negative or inaccurate news about your company. And if you set the agenda yourself, you will accumulate respect among interested parties. This will then ‘cushion the fall’ when it comes to trickier moments.

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