Smart companies will value societal issues and social competence if they want to build consumer loyalty and a good industry reputation.

Edleman has just released its latest Trust Barometer and it makes for an interesting read as trust levels in business and government seem to be in decline worldwide. The only improving sector appears to be media.

Looking forward to the future, Edelman’s report indicates that business needs to think much more about societal issues in order to gain that all important trust.

The reports data shows that currently, trust is being driven by success with operational issues like; financial returns, innovation and leadership. These drivers seem to match with the current preoccupations of most company’s CEOs and senior management, with innovation having been the “buzzword” for the past decade.

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