Written by Dan George
New Year, new Edelman Trust Barometer. This time we see, predictably given the events of last year, that trust in institutions has hit rock bottom.
It’s not just politicians; trust in the media fell precipitously. It’s now at an all-time low in 17 countries. As is trust in CEOs all around the world.
This poses a problem. One that we can’t turn around anytime soon. And beyond our responsibility to make sure our clients are honest with their audiences, I doubt it’ll be PRs who fix society. For one thing it’ll read like a PR exercise.
Fortunately, people need to buy things. Trust may be running out but people haven’t stopped needing food, water and heat. For now, the economy rumbles on. So, brands can still compete – but instead of focusing on earning trust, comms professionals should make sure their clients are remembered.
Because if everyone’s competing for attention in a world in which most of us are dismissed out of hand, the best way for brands to resonate is to make sure they stand out and stick in people’s heads.
Look at Brexit. Look at Trump. And learn the real lesson of last year. These movements won by resonating with people with messages that were difficult to shake. Not necessarily by being the most credible or having traditionally trusted parties onside.
The solution is a simple one. Be creative. Now more than ever. Doing something different – something that makes people do a double-take and think for a second – is the only way left to get the public on side and make your client matter.
Dan George is our creative lead.