Building Trust: Experts are back in vogue

Steve Rubel of Edelman Digital blogs about Edelman’s latest Trust barometer study and it’s getting more and more complex. Authority, trust and expertise are influencing. Take a look”

Amplify’d from
First, over the last several years there’s been a decline in trust in “a person like myself.” It’s down four percent in the last 12 months. Some 47% said they trust this group, which is down from 68% in 2006. An analysis: I believe the reason for this is that, as more of us join social networks, there’s been a devaluation in the entire concept of “friendship.” A separate survey found that people don’t know 20 percent of their Facebook friends. Consider that “unfriend” was Oxford’s word of the year for 2009.

Second, the Trust Barometer revealed rising confidence in credentialed experts (70%, an increase of 8%). This is a trend that began last year. In addition, for the first time we looked at the credibility of technical specialists inside a company. Trust in this group is off the charts (64%). This hits home the need to identify those with expertise inside a company who can engage across different channels, many of which today are digital – or will be soon. Note that this differs from trust in a regular employee, which is down to 34% from 42% in 2006.

Finally, our Strategy One research team looked at what’s required to effect a behavior change in a cluttered media world. It’s not pretty. 

The data found that informed publics (media consumers) need to hear things three to five times from just as many sources before it sinks in. In the most developed countries like the US and UK it’s even higher – a staggering nine times or more. This means organizations must secure multiple impressions across a diverse array of media sources, some that we don’t control, others that we increasingly do. Advertising won’t cut it. It’s the least trusted form of communication, according to the study.

Embedded below and on Scribd is a mini white paper that outlines the findings. I dig into this ever




About Gautam

Gautam is a HR professional interested in how emerging technologies are impacting work, careers and organizations.

Posted on January 25, 2011, in blogging and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Very interesting post – I definitely agree that the more you hear something, the more likely you are to believe it.

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