Insights into “Trust in Public Institutions”

by Anthony Kennaway

IABC Switzerland’s presentation of the Edelman Trust Barometer took place in Zurich on 7 February and was fascinating. Special thanks to Susanne Marell, the CEO of Edelman Germany, who gave our members and guests a full hour of insights into the survey.

It’s clear that the warning lights of public opinion are flashing on the dashboard across a number of countries, just as they were at last year’s meeting ahead of the Brexit and Trump votes. For me, the stand-out figure in this year’s results was that an astonishing 72% of French people surveyed believe the ‘system’ (the societal structure, government, governance etc) is failing. Given that the data predates the recent Fillon debacle, one can only imagine how this sentiment will be reflected in the upcoming elections. Perhaps France’s first and second stage election system will provide adequate warning to those not motivated to vote … perhaps not.

Those working in corporate communications gained a number of valuable insights. While employees are still the most credible spokespeople in a business, the credibility of CEOs and Board have declined an eye-watering 12% and 10% respectively over the last year alone. That said, trust in the financial services industry has increased for the third consecutive year – albeit from a low base – but now exceeds 50%. Susanne promised greater granularity on sector constituents from Edelman at the end of the month once the numbers are crunched further.

Space restriction prevents anything more than a short summary here – but you can view the full report. And, if you were at our presentation, please feel free to share the insights you found most interesting – there was certainly a lot of food for thought.

Click on the images above for a larger view.