Edelman: Trust in organizations collapsing worldwide

As institutions from business to non-governmental organizations lose ground, the public looks to friends and colleagues for information. How will you respond to a skeptical era?

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Editor’s note: This story is taken from Ragan Communications’ distance-learning portal Ragan Training. The site contains hundreds of hours of case studies, video presentations and interactive courses.

A major force is sweeping the world, and organizations must come to grips with it if they wish to make their case to a skeptical public.

The gulf is growing between the mass population and the elites in all fields—business, government, the news media and non-governmental organizations, says Richard Edelman, chief executive of the communications marketing firm bearing his name.

Two-thirds of those surveyed distrust these institutions, a figure that doubled over the previous two years, he says in a Ragan Training video, “Engaged Leadership in the Age of Populism.” He cites figures from the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer, an annual global study.

Yet dovetailing this collapse in trust is a trend that suggests a growing role for social media and employee ambassadorship: an increased reliance on peers.

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