Edelman Public Relations

Trust in Business and Experts Rises

February 8th, 2010 by Collin Canright

After decreasing in trust last year more than any other institution, business is gaining trust in the public eye, according to the 10th annual Edelman Trust Barometer report. The 2010 report shows that trust in peers dropped dramatically while trust in business and experts increased.

“Trust data shows that we’re desperately seeking out experts. This is unsurprising given the torrent of information we’re all contending with. We’re self-curating and in the process seeking out higher authorities,” writes Edelman Digital senior vice president Steve Rubel, in his analysis of the report’s implications for PR and social media.

The 2009 survey came amid the worst of the financial crisis. Not surprisingly, all institutions suffered a fall in trust, especially business, whose trust rating fell 23%. This year, business had the biggest year-over-year increase, according to the Advertising Age report on the barometer.

Yet trust remains fragile, the report concludes, and is only as strong and trustworthy as the communications an organization produces. “Transparent and honest practices” topped the list of the factors most important to a corporate reputation.

Read the full 2010 Edelman Trust Barometer and 2009 Edelman Trust Barometer reports on the Edelman Public Relations website.

-Collin