Trust? What’s that?

Image of hand giving thumbs up

Earning the trust of the public in a post-Trump, post-Brexit (I wish I could say post-Covid) world is a tough task. But the good news is there’s some data, insight and guidance around to get you started.

Here’s a snapshot of three sources worth checking to inform your strategic approach and give you some all-important data to engage Chief Execs and other leaders.

Edelman Trust Barometer

The Edelman Trust Barometer is an annual survey of trust levels in government, media, business and NGOs in 21 countries across the world. It’s released every January, so the 2021 iteration, which is snappily titled ‘Declaring Information Bankruptcy’, is pretty hot off the press.  

The headlines? It’s not pretty.

  • Edelman describe “an epidemic of misinformation and widespread mistrust of societal institutions and leaders around the world”.
  • In a global context, the UK ranks high on cynicism and low on trust – 18th out of 21 countries. In many ways the 2021 data set presents a confusing picture for the UK, indicating trust levels increasing, but certainly showing a lot of volatility. 

We expect and want Chief Execs to publicly speak out and take action about important issues for their organisation and its stakeholders. The Trust Barometer is a really useful tool for engaging with Chief Execs – whether that is in the public or private sector – about the value of leadership, action and communication. 

There is some good news – we care more – about everything – from improving the healthcare system to finding ways to combat fake news – everything has got more important.

It’s also a great example of a way to generate, use and present data to make it meaningful to your audience.

Ipsos Mori Veracity Index

Ipsos Mori’s Veracity Index is a useful guide to trust in professions and has UK specific data. Nurses, doctors and engineers are the most trusted professions from the November 2020 update, with advertising executives, politicians and government ministers getting the lowest scores. 

So in many ways, what you’d expect but with some odd quirks about the context of ‘trusted people’.

Personally speaking, I find it amazing that we have a greater level of trust in delivery drivers than we do in the police – nothing against delivery drivers at all – I absolutely trust them to do their job. 

But on the whole, I think let’s keep the trained and qualified professional police force in place rather than swap them out for an army of delivery drivers to improve trust!

Ofcom Covid-19 news and information: consumption and attitudes

Since March 2020 Ofcom has been monitoring our attitudes to Covid-19 information.

Massively important research. Just think of attitudes to and take-up of vaccines for one thing. Now we’re on week 43 of data there is a huge source of information and research there which anyone who is communicating about the UK audience can and should dip into.

Traditional media has remained the most-trusted source of news and info, and almost one in three people said they had seen false or misleading news about Covid in the week of the study. There’s plenty more summary info and detailed stats to dive into.

Thanks for reading.