|"Riot kiss" photograph by Richard Lam|
Edelman has just released its 2017 global analysis of trust. The situation around is poor. The trend is deep-rooted and increased over the last 5 years. This is the mother of all Crisis and it won’t stop shortly. All we can do is facing it with the right attitude and strategy.
All the categories (NGOs, Business, Media and Government) score lower rates this year. Media in particular has fallen the most and it is not trusted like Governments. NGOs and Business are just above the limit of 50%.
Lack of faith is critical across society. Even among high-income, college-educated or well-informed people, disillusion is majority. The overall sentiment is that the system is imploding and concerns become fears. This attitude anyway is restricted to western democracies. In other areas, distrust is expressed through increasing dissent and opposition.
Italy records the highest percent in the world of people thinking the system is failing (72%) or is uncertain (24%), leaving only 4% to have faith.
People believe in their peers. Traditional media, official sources, press realises, experts, specialists, analysts and others are not welcome. Nearly 6 people on 10 prefer search engines to human editors for information (click to read about the risk connected).
Business is the last retaining wall. 75% believe that companies can make profits while improving economic and social conditions of communities. Business is the most trusted institution among uncertain people. Companies anyway are even more expected to act with high social responsibility.
The landscape is hard. Yet, there are ways to restore trust in one another. I would suggest two:
- as a PR professional, I see chances to improve trust in Business by strengthening digital communication, CSR and internal communications all together.
- politically, I believe that Governments should proactively reassure people with efficient services and avoid any flame.