Can We Trust Edelman's Trust Barometer?

Based on its reputation, we should trust what the new Edelman Trust Barometer survey tells us. But, gosh, are there some head-scratchers. Who could’ve predicted that the automotive sector would elevate from near the bottom of an industry list in 2009 to No. 2 in the United States? Edelman executives point to the carmakers’ innovation and environmentally-friendly efforts in the area of electric autos and others. Apparently consumers believe these companies are recreating themselves for the right reasons rather than for pure profit. The fact that the automakers repaid bailout loans helped as well. For the third straight year, technology sits in the top spot despite the iPhone Antennagate saga and ongoing concerns with Facebook and others around privacy. Predictably, banks are toxic, having slid to the bottom of the trust index due to their role in the financial crisis. How might these financial institutions come back? On the backs of CEOs, if you believe the report. Just two years after placing second from last, CEOs are now in the top tier as trustworthy spokespersons. Fifty percent say CEOs are credible spokespeople about a company, a 19-point increase over 2009. Look for bank CEOs to increase their visibility. According to Edelman, in key Western nations like the U.S. and the UK, approximately one-quarter (23 and 27 percent, respectively) say that they need to hear something six or more times to believe it, twice as many as two years ago. In the U.S., 14 percent need to hear information 10 or more times to believe it. Missing from the survey is detail on what consumers do with their mistrust? Do they use their mobile phones or computers to get on social networks when companies fail at so-called “Moments of Trust”? jeffhasen Do individual tweets, blog posts and Facebook postings influence sales and loyalty? Perhaps that level of information will be included in subsequent reports. Article first published as Car Manufacturers and CEOs Rise In Trust Ratings on Technorati