The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer is Edelman’s 18th annual online survey of trust across 28 markets around the world. In Part 1 of our coverage, “Bad News for Almost Everyone,” we looked at the major results, most of which had to do with the loss of trust. Here in Part 2 we summarize the results that show how to rebuild that trust.

Perhaps the most valuable part of the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer is on its last few pages. Called “Trust-Building Mandates,” it’s a brilliant use of data analysis to determine the best way to repair lost trust. (See pages 33 and 34 for the results, and pages 58-60 for the methodology.)

One of the questions in this year’s survey asked what people expect of each of four types of institutions: business, government, NGOs, and the media. That is, they wanted to know what role the institution was expected to play in society. They then asked respondents to judge each institution on the extent to which it was meeting that mandate.

Performance scores were averaged and then correlated with trust scores to determine the strength of the relationship between trust and these mandates. Thus, they identified the mandates that would make the greatest contribution to improving each institution’s trust score.

What they have really spelled out here are to-do lists for the strategic rebuilding of trust. So, time to get busy (insert drum roll here)…

1. Trust-building mandates for business

  • Invest in jobs
  • Prioritize consumer safety (including safeguard privacy)
  • Drive economic prosperity
  • Provide jobs and training

2. Trust-building mandates for NGOs

  • Support the poor
  • Call out abuses of power
  • Create a sense of community

3. Trust-building mandates for government

  • Drive economic prosperity
  • Investigate corruption
  • Support the poor

4. Trust-building mandates for the media

  • Guard information quality
  • Educate people on important issues
  • Inform good life decisions

(Image thanks to Nationaal Archief on / No known copyright restrictions)

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