4 Ways to Build Trust in a Shaky Economy

A decade ago Richard Edelman, head of the world’s largest independent public relations firm, developed the Edelman Trust Barometer, a tool designed for c-level executives to gauge trust.

An Edelman study from about a year ago concluded that CEOs aren’t very trusted. (Things have only grown worse.) The study also said people looking for authenticity tend to gravitate to others who are in similar circumstances.

Considering the current economic crisis, trust is more important than ever. But how do you build trust?

Here are Edelman’s four trust drivers:

1. Customers: Delivering quality products, top-notch service and good value.

2. Reputation: Paying attention to your corporate reputation, having a strong position on social issues and being known as a good place to work.

3. Leadership: Being known in your industry for delivering on promises and taking leading positions.

4. Local Familiarity: Having a local presence, proximity and connection.

These trust drivers may seem intuitive, but I think they often get lost in the obsessive focus on strategy, tactics and business results. As the Ford Motor Company used to say about quality, building trust is job one.

Source: Marketing News, 5/15/08

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