Trust 2008

Richard Edelman Blog

edelmanThe 2008 Edelman Trust Barometer is the agency’s ninth Trust and credibility survey among global opinion-forming elite. This year, for the first time, the survey sampled two different age groups concurrently: 25-34 year olds and 35-64 year olds.

Here are [some] the key findings from this year’s study:

  • Communicate peer-to-peer, as well as top-down: There is highest trust in ‘people like me’ and experts such as ‘academics’, ‘doctors’ and ‘financial analysts.’
  • Corporate communications must incorporate social media: As you might expect, social media matters most to the 25 to 34 age group.
  • Engage the info-ential generation to build a beachhead: The 25-to-34 year old group is more trusting of business, less xenophobic and more reliant on multiple sources of information than their older counterparts. 

Social Media Take-Aways

A few interesting Internet-related points from the survey:

  • Social media tools are are making inroads, but are still less trusted than any other information source
    • Blogs: Trusted by 26% of 25-34 and 19% of 35-64-year-olds
    • Social networks: 25% and 20%
    • Video sharing sites: 25% and 19%
  • Younger people are more likely to talk online about about trusted and distrusted companies than older people
  • Wikipedia is the second most credible source for young Americans (behind business magazines)
    • Blogs, YouTube and social networks are still close to the bottom, higher only than corporate or product advertising
  • The growing influence of social media is reflected in the names the report gives to the different segments of “elites.” Despite the low trust still currently shown in social media tools, they label the largest segment “social networkers”:
    • Social Networkers (39% of “elites”)
      • Frequently share views on companies by word of mouth
      • Seeks company opinions from trusted sources
      • Want companies to listen
    • Social Activists (26%)
    • Solo Actors (11%)
    • Uninvolved (24%)
  • Bloggers aren’t seen as credible spokespeople – just 4% of people would trust them
    • However, bloggers can also fall into other trusted categories like academics, analysts or doctors, in which case their credibility rockets
  • Social media is more credible as a source of company information in Asian countries

pdf_icon Download the electronic version of Trust Barometer free of charge.

pdf_icon Download the electronic version of Key Findings of the Trust Barometer free of charge.

powerpoint Download the electronic version of Trust Barometer Presentation free of charge.


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