• Tom Becktold

Edelman Trust Survey Reveals A Huge PR Opportunity

by Tom Becktold, Co-Founder at NewsDriver



With public trust in institutions in broad retreat worldwide and more so in the US, findings in the Edelman 2018 Trust Barometer - State of Business show unique public relations opportunities to bolster business credibility and authority.


Of 28 countries surveyed, 65% of adults get their news on social media, search and news apps. They trust a company’s social media content nearly two-times as much as their advertising.


Importantly, customers trust the businesses they use more than they trust journalists or government.

This creates a striking public relations opportunity to communicate regularly and directly to target audiences. Read on for some of the most interesting facts from this year’s report:

  • Of 28 countries surveyed, the US experienced the largest year-over-year decline (-9%) in trust of institutions: NGOs, business, government, and media

  • While trust in business increased in 14 of 28 markets, most western countries have a net distrust in business. The US experienced the largest year-over-year decline (-10%) in trust of business

  • Business is more trusted than government in 21 of 28 markets. The US has a net +15% business favorability vs. government; the UK is at +7%

  • Business is more trusted than NGOs in 13 off 28 markets. The US and Canada both have a net +1% NGO favorability vs. business

  • In markets with the most extreme trust loss, including the US, India, Colombia and Brazil, businesses are the most trusted institution, with a net +13% vs. media.

  • 63% agree of recipients worldwide agree with this: “A good reputation may get me to try a product—but unless I come to trust the company behind the product I will soon stop buying it, regardless of its reputation”

  • Business credibility is high: Trust of analysis on an important social issue by: a major news organization (54%); a major corporation (46%)

  • Journalists (39%) and Government Officials (35%) are the least credible spokespeople, outpaced by Technical Experts (63%) and Employees (47%) among others

  • 65% get news through social media, search or news applications

  • “Companies that I use” are more trusted (60%) than journalists (51%), with celebrities the least trusted (27%)

  • 63% believe a company’s social media vs. just 37% that believe a company’s advertising, with 64% believing employees should participate in their company’s social media activities

Action items your public relations team can activate now to optimize your quality content:

  • You need it presented in a social-media friendly way, which NewsDriver excels at producing

  • You need authority and trust on social media, which comes with consistent engagement with PR-target audiences that become more refined over time, another NewsDriver specialty

  • NewsDriver’s social newswire platform provides a direct pathway for public relations teams to present your news directly to target audiences and build authority over time.

We’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or drop me a line.

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