by: Colleen Dane, Director
UPDATE: On May 5, Edelman released an interim update on their trust barometer in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic – answering some of the questions raised in the blog below. In short? In the face of the pandemic, trust in institutions has taken a significant leap and are at an all-time high: in Canada, it’s a 10-to-20 point increase. Government has gone from least to most trusted institution in the country. Also a key takeaway? Increased trust comes with increased responsibility – we expect more of our institutions. Canadians have higher trust in media than other countries reported. What’s consistent to the January survey? People are worried about their financial security (now more specifically related to COVID-19) and we still agree that collaboration raises everyone involved. Read more here: https://www.edelman.com/research/trust-2020-spring-update. Can’t wait to see what the next update shares!
The world at large has adapted many things as a result of COVID-19 – the way we work, care for families and friends, how we socialize, shop, eat, travel. Has it changed the way we trust? Perhaps that will be a key finding in the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer.
If you’re not familiar with it, Edelman Intelligence – a global insight and analytics consultancy – launched an annual survey in 2000 that reports on the public’s degree of trust in its institutions. In early 2020, before all of our worlds were tilted, they released their 20th report. This report’s release is something I look forward to each year (because I’m that kind of girl!) and it was no disappointment.
Why does the barometer matter to us as communications professionals? It’s an insight into how people feel about the information they’re receiving. It can add perspective into the kind of hurdles your message is facing. It’s a global report, so it won’t help with your direct community, but it will help give perspective on the foundations of communication, and how the world is feeling about them.
The 2019 report showed some thoughtful updates, some of them which raise concern:
While those feel dire, there are some glimpses of how we can help:
These are nuggets or opportunities that can help us understand the filters that our community sees things through (on a wider scale than the media filters we talked about back in 2019). And understanding them can help us do our part to improve dialogue.
So what will the public say about the four institutions, and their sense of trust, when asked for the 21st annual report next year, covering their feelings about 2020? We are eager to see, because hearing a message, and trusting a message are two very different things.
What do you ZINC about the Edelman Trust Barometer? Send us a note at email@example.com with your thoughts/ideas.