In a post-crisis world, experts and peers are the most trusted

As audiences lose faith in media outlets, government and institutions, personal relationships with colleagues or an individual’s employer competes with expert insights.

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When it comes to trust, there’s not much going around these days.

After the worst public health crisis in a generation, a botched government response and intense loss and suffering, audiences have retreated to a very small sphere of influence. They still put value on experts—both academic and company technical experts—people with advanced and specialized knowledge who can be trusted. However, people are also turning to personal relationships.

More than half (56%) of people say that “my employer’s CEO” or “a person like yourself” is an extremely credible source of information about a company, according to Edelman’s Spring update on its 2021 Trust Barometer.

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A CEO who is not the leader of a person’s employer—removing the personal relationship—drops the trust score to only 45% who say that leader is extremely credible.

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