The state of TRUST

So The Edelman Trust Barometer has once again been published, shining a spotlight on TRUST around the world and here in Australia.

Last year’s report (2017) reported the biggest fall ever in trust. Overall this year it’s slipped a notch lower, though with some countries’ trust barometer falling a lot further (e.g. Australia).

Volatility brews beneath a stagnant surface. If a single theme captures the state of the world’s trust in 2018, it is this. Even as people’s trust in business, government, NGOs and media across 28 countries remained largely unchanged, experiencing virtually no recovery from 2017, dramatic shifts are taking place at the country level and within the institution of media.

Here in Australia the 2018 Trust Barometer scorecard is pretty appalling:

TRUST in institutions:  40% (down 3% on 2017)

TRUST in media:  31% (down 10% on 2017)

TRUST in government:  35% (down 2% on 2017)

TRUST in NGOs:  48% (down 5% on 2017)

TRUST in business:  45% (down 3% on 2017)

CREDIBILITY of CEOs:  39% (UP 13% on 2017, and back to where it sat in 2016: this is the one bright light for Australia)

Interestingly, trust in a “person like yourself” has dipped to an all-time low in the study’s history, from 60 to 54 per cent globally, and 56 to 50 per cent in Australia. I reckon that’s because in the fake news era (7/10 people think the news is fake), people doubt the veracity of information and so there is a return to trusted sources of information (for example, trust in Journalism rising UP by 5% to 59%).

THE most valuable currency in the world today is TRUST. You earn it by not being a dickhead, by treating people well, and by making a contribution to the society and world in which you do business. It’s called branding, and it moves mountains.


Richard Sauerman
Richard Sauerman
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