What government, media can learn from business according to Edelman CEO: ‘Do your job’

By | September 10, 2022

Results of Edelman’s 2022 Trust Barometer revealed the public’s declining trust in government and media, a phenomenon that will take time and tangible action to fix, advised Edelman CEO Richard Edelman.

Edelman’s Trust Barometer, which the company conducts annually, revealed that businesses are the most trusted institutions, ranking higher than NGOs, government, media and social media. Public trust in media and government declined from 2021 to 2022, and there was an increase in respondents being worried about “false information or fake news.” 

Further, nearly half of respondents said they believe government and media are divisive forces within society. 

“The big differentiating factor for business is competence,” Edelman CEO Richard Edelman told Fox News Digital. “Business is seen as 50 points more competent than government, and about 30 points more than media.” 

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“So, do your job well,” he added. “Deliver. That’s the word.” 

“Business has been more trusted than government for the past two years … but I think we’re in a long cycle now of business having to carry more than its fair share of the burden because of government being divided, and there being a sense of paralysis.” 

This perceived incompetence of government, Edelman said, has forced businesses to take more of a center stage with societal issues. 

“It’s not something that a normal CEO even three or four years even had to think about,” he added. 

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Edelman also noted it is not just government that is seen as untrustworthy, but also mainstream media. 

According to the results of the survey, less than half of respondents viewed media or government as being able to solve societal problems and execute plans that yielded results.

“The most credible source of information today is ‘My Company’s Newsletter,’ can you imagine,” he said. “Much more than mainstream media, social media, government media.” 

Less than half of survey participants trusted government, journalists or CEOs broadly, but “My CEO,” coworkers, and scientists were broadly trusted. 

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Building trust between media, government and the public will take time, Edelman noted, highlighting that business often gets “kudos” for taking tangible action. 

Edelman, a global communications firm, has conducted its Trust Barometer annually for the last 22 years, and said on its website it believes trust is the “ultimate currency” in the relationship between organizations and their stakeholders.