You’ll have no doubt heard of “Fake News” and click-bait advertising. What you might not know is the ripple effect these ‘trust tricks’ have had across our entire industry.
The research findings from our recent white paper showed that amongst the wider UK public, only 43% trust organisations, their messages or their promises and this continued pattern of internal and external mistrust is clearly a key issue.
I’ve had the opportunity to witness first-hand the disconnect in what communicators are saying they will deliver and what is actually being delivered. Mistrust doesn’t always happen for consumers or businesses, it can also be seen within agencies, their clients or project managers. We must all watch out for the degradation of trust.
What is trust? And how can we build or rebuild it?
If you work in comms, your primary focus should be supporting the development, vision and mission of the organisation. Trust is our best tool in helping businesses communicate with impact. Whether through face-to-face communication, digital, film or any other channel.
With the rise of social media and digital communication, it can be easy to hide behind digital comms alone, but sometimes we must pick up the phone, meet face-to-face and discuss issues too. Meeting the people you’re communicating with should always be the priority. After all, it’s how we as human beings evolved to communicate.
Can trust be degraded internally too?
Internal communications trust can be built through empowering employees to talk freely, offering transparency with what’s going on, and giving everyone on the team a platform to share ideas. We mustn’t forget to be trusted from the inside out. Today there is a very blurred line between internal and external communication. Soon there may be none at all.
People trust people (for good or for ill).
People will, in their millions today, trust strangers on social media over a TV ad or experiential marketing if they feel they are being sold to. As communicators, we can’t be seen as selling something, we must instead at all times be (and be seen to be) providers of a truthful, trusted and useful story. Trust is the currency that, if used correctly, can completely transform the way a business performs for customers and colleagues.
But why does trust matter?
If you resonate with people through language, creativity, your brand, you can communicate the message effectively to your audience. Resonance and emotion ultimately move your audience in the direction that you want them to go – inevitably trusting you more and listening to what you have to say.