Who Do You Trust? Do You Sound Persuasive?

If you want to be trusted it helps if you are a powefully persuasive.
Patricia Fripp and Darren LaCroix can help you in our June Story and Structure Speaking School and Coaching Camp. June 15-17, 2012 in Las Vegas.

When it comes to trust I am sure you will find Richard Edelman’s article as interesting as I did.

Who Do You Trust?

Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman Worldwide, the world’s largest public relations agency, tips you off on who is most trusted.

Knowing who people turn to for information is invaluable as a PR practitioner. Since 2000, the Edelman Trust Barometer has measured trust in various institutions and groups of people. This annual survey of 25,000 people and 5,600 opinion leaders in 25 countries reveals some key findings about Aristotle’s concept of ethos or “source credibility.” Here are some significant trends from the 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer.

Trust in government has declined sharply.
Government’s inability to effectively manage political and financial crises has severely impacted the credibility of government officials. In 17 of the 25 countries surveyed, government is now trusted by less than half to do what is right. In Europe, trust in government dropped almost 10 percentage points. In Asia, trust in government dropped 13 points in China and 26 points in Japan, the latter resulting from its response to the catastrophic earthquake. In the United States, trust in government remained flat at 43 percent.

Trust in business is holding relatively steady.
Although trust in business dropped significantly in some Eurozone countries, it fell only three points globally to 53 percent. In every country surveyed, trust in business was higher than trust in government except in Singapore, where 73 percent trust the government to tell the truth. In order to increase trust, I believe businesses need to become more societally focused—listening more to customer needs, treating employees well, placing customers ahead of profits and having ethical business practices.

Choose a trusted spokesperson.
Selecting a spokesperson can be tricky. The barometer shows that people are most likely to believe information about a company from: an academic or expert (68 percent), a technical expert within the company (66 percent) or a person like yourself (65 percent). Government officials and regulators, CEOs and financial analysts scored the lowest. Only 29 percent said they would believe information from a government official.

Social media continues its rise among media sources.
While traditional media sources are still the most trusted, the diversification of trusted media sources continues. In fact, social media, which consists of social networking sites, content-sharing sites, blogs and microblogging sites, saw the biggest percentage increase (75 percent increase) in trust among media sources.

Skepticism requires repetition.
General skepticism among all sources of information continues to prevail. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed said they needed to hear something three to five times about a specific company before they believe the information to be true. Nearly 20 percent said they would need to hear something six or more times to believe it. Repetition of your message is a key to building credibility among target publics.