Edelman’s annual trust barometer is further proof, if it was ever needed, that professional communicators must step outside their peer bubble.
The survey found highly educated and high-income earners (the top 1%) were far likelier to trust NGOs, businesses and Government than the rest of the population. That means we are communicating with two distinct audiences: one that trusts, and one that doesn’t.
Communications to the public can reflect the language, sensibilities, and concerns of the 1% who do the communicating. The danger is that such communications talk over the heads of the public. They appeal to an authority, including their own, which in the minds of the public, doesn’t exist.
Organisations need to take advice from independent PR people on what the world outside of the bubble looks like. This can be confrontational, but unless you consider what it will take to persuade the public that thinks so differently, you will never change its collective mind.